Girls Horse Club Blog

Mules, Zorses and Other Cross-Species

Published by • May 9th, 2009 • Category: International Horse

by Violet Inkpen, age 12

Did you ever hear of the term hybrid? It means two different species crossed. I learned about it in science and by reading magazines and books. The mule is a hybrid, a cross between a male donkey and a female horse. Hybrids usually can’t breed and if they can it is only with a species of one of the parents.

So have you ever heard of a Zorse? Can you guess what it is? A cross between a horse and Zebra! They look like horses but they have stripes. Most of them have the coloring of a Pinto but with darker colored stripes of white and brown in the spots and even in the non spotted parts. They don’t have Zebra’s color in stripes.


I think it is all very interesting. This is what Wikipedia has to say about the Zorse:

A zorse or zebrula is a zebroid, specifically the offspring of a zebra stallion and a horse mare. The rarer reverse pairing is sometimes called a horbra. Like most other hybrids, the zorse is sterile, meaning it cannot go on to reproduce young thus creating a separate Zorse species, completely differentiated from Horses and Zebras altogether is impossible.

So as you can see they are totally cool! I recommend looking it up.

HinnyHere’s another one for you: A hinny is a hybrid which is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey. It looks a lot like a donkey.

I know this isn’t a horse, but they actually have WHITE Lions now. Yeah, they breed white tigers with lions and therefore they have white lions. Of course they can’t live in the wild because of the lack of blending in with their surroundings. White is kind of a flashy color.

So if you want something fun to look into, look up hybrids.

12 Nickers »

  1. Interesting, but also sad. Playing with nature like this results in misery for the animals. The “Ligers”, as they are called, cannot communicate with either lions or tigers, but only with others of their kind. They are seperated out, not belonging to either one. Zorses, hinnys and mules, they will never be able to have children. It is best to let God do the creating.

    Great article, by the way! Awesome job!

  2. Truly interesting Violet! I knew some about them but this filled in a few gaps.:)

  3. Cool, that zebriod is cute

  4. Yes horsey at heart it is better to let God do the creating. Messing wtih animals isn’t very good. They just came out with Beagles that glow red in the dark and out of 6 only like 3 survived.

  5. Champion research! That’s a pretty cute little Zorse

  6. It’s interesting that this blog raises discussion about the morals/ethics of human intervention in animal breeding (aka artificial selection). Here are some additional facts/questions as food for thought when forming your own perspective…

    Some animals in the same genus but of a different species are biologically able to breed without human intervention, but generally only do so in captivity. Although less common, hybrids are found in the wild.

    Some hybrids are able to reproduce.

    If one believes animal infertility resulting from cross-species breeding is a bad thing, would you argue that horses shouldn’t be gelded? Or that spaying/neutering dogs and cats is wrong?

    Most horse breeds have resulted from selective breeding by humans. Is it OK for humans to intervene in breeding within a species?

    Most domesticated animals would not survive in the wild.

  7. I agree to a point that animals should be left to breed with their own kind. However we have many cures and medicines because of animal/insect breeding and certain selection.
    Champion blog

  8. wow, that is so cool! i think i have heard of a Zorse before somewhere, but where……

  9. they breed white lions by mixing white tigers with lions. That is bad for lions in the wild. They’d never be able to hunt! But spay and nutering dogs and cats is the only way to keep them from suffering. They have been overbred and so many are starving and being treated with crulity. As for gleding horses..same thing. So creating new species and things like that can be crule and dangerous when there are too many horses and dogs and things.

  10. This Wikipedia article about white lions says there is a recessive white mutation that results in a white lion with no cross-species breeding or human intervention. That mutation is bordering on extinction so breeding programs (which are not cross-species, according to the article) could be seen as something positive. It also says “in 2003 the Global White Lion Protection Trust (WLT) initiated the first ever reintroduction of white lions to their natural endemic range – the Greater Timbavati region in South Africa. Preliminary results have shown that the hunting success of the white lion pride was comparable to or higher than the wild prides (‘normal’ coloured/tawny) of the Timbavati itself. This pride of “all” white lions has shattered the misperception that white lions cannot hunt successfully (within their natural endemic habitat) due to a perceived lack of camouflage…” Of course Wikipedia isn’t always right so perhaps there are other credible sources.

    This is not intended to discount anyone’s feelings on the issue, rather to distinguish between fact and feeling.

    Thanks for the interesting blog Violet Inkpen.

  11. Great blog Vi! very interesting…..

  12. Thanks Ginger I love hearing from you! all of you and thanks lead mare for the intresting information. I will go reaserch tje white lions some more!