As if the animal kingdom wasn’t a weird and wonderful enough place already, human intervention has given rise to a whole host of hybrids that seem like they belong in fairy tales. These crossbreeds are created by mating the male of one species with the female of another, creating something entirely new. Most of these hybrid offspring are infertile, meaning they cannot reproduce, but those that can sometimes even go on to produce their own mixed-species progeny carrying the traits of three separate species. The twelve animals on this list are only a fraction of the vast possibilities for hybrid animals in the future!
One of the most common animal hybrids are mules, which are the product of a male donkey and female horse. They’re known for their long ears and stubborn attitudes, but are hard-working, sure-footed, and some of the strongest hooved animals on earth. If a female donkey mates with a male horse, the result is a Hinny.
Because zebras have been mated with a variety of other equines since the 19th century, the general name for all part-zebra offspring is Zebroid. However, the product of a zebra and a horse is sometimes called a Zorse, and a zebra plus a donkey can be a Zonkey or Zebra Mule. They’re bred mostly as curiosities, but in Africa are often used as riding and pack animals.