Eclyse the Zorse

image Big Gary forwarded me a link to this Yahoo News Photo of Eclyse, a zebra-horse hybrid housed at the Stukenbrock Safaripark in Germany. Big Gary had some doubts about whether this was a true hybrid, or a fake one (such as Tijuana Zebras -- donkeys that Tijuana street vendors paint to look like zebras so that tourists can pose with them). Eclyse's color coating does look so strange that it would be natural to assume it was fake, but it turns out to be real. Spiegel has more pictures of Eclyse.

Eclyse's coloring is highly unusual, even for a zebra-horse hybrid. The Wikipedia entry on Zebroids speculates that she got her patchy coat because her mother was "piebald or skewbald (known in the USA as a Pinto horse)."


Posted on Mon Jul 30, 2007


Eclyse's colouring is perfectly normal if the horse parent was piebald/skewbald. In zebra-horse hybrids, the striping only appears on the coloured areas of the coat. White patches mask it out. Most zebroid breeders use solid horses when breeding zebroids so you rarely see pied zebroids. It's normal horse colour genetics.
Posted by Sarah (Messybeast)  on  Mon Jul 30, 2007  at  12:58 AM
Awww, isn't she just the cutest!
Posted by Nettie  on  Mon Jul 30, 2007  at  01:01 AM
I have relatives who look like that, especially my cousin Piebald.

He went to prison and they didn't even have to issue him his own striped clothes.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Jul 30, 2007  at  02:27 AM
What a Beautiful animal!!! She's a delight!
Posted by hulitoons  on  Mon Jul 30, 2007  at  08:11 AM
a zorse is a horse with stripes, of course... Oh, Wilbur, I never have any fun
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Jul 30, 2007  at  09:30 AM
Wow, that looks so incredibly fake, I can't believe it's real. Definately one of a kind...
Posted by Josh  on  Mon Jul 30, 2007  at  06:31 PM
Not sure I'm convinced that the fact that somebody has more than one picture proves that the pictures aren't fake.

My doubts were based not just on how it looks, but on the fact that I've read that zebras and horses are not all that close genetically (not as close as humans are to chimpanzees, for example).

Anyway, it's fun to think about.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Jul 31, 2007  at  06:54 PM
My guess is fake. The border between the white area and the striped whithers looks wrong, especially that little indentation towards the bottom. It looks to me like something was pulled up over the horse and is a bit loose.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Tue Jul 31, 2007  at  11:04 PM
Gary, I know that horse-zebra hybrids have been produced before. I think scientists created the first ones over 100 years ago. Although they're not two species that would naturally breed together.

From what I found on the internet and in news reports, it seems that Eclyse is quite a celebrity in Germany. There's so much documentation about her, that I can't imagine she's a fake.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  01:25 AM
Will someone please explain to me the purpose of the TJ Donkey/Zebras. I've been there so many times and I still don't get it.
Posted by Razela  on  Thu Aug 02, 2007  at  08:21 AM
You can vote fake, but this time you'd be wrong. Eclyse has quite a following throughout Europe 😊

What it does show is that folks are unfamiliar with horse genetics and with pied zebroids. I have personal correspondence about pied zebroids bred for African safari use. USAnian zebroid breeders prefer all-over stripes which is why USAnians seem to be dubious about Eclyse.

It also shows that folks are very willing to shout "fake" whenever they come across something unfamiliar.
Posted by Sarah (Messybeast)  on  Mon Aug 06, 2007  at  07:22 AM
Nope, It is real. Eclyse is getting older too. She has a pony friend because the other zebras have rejected her.
Posted by Diana  on  Fri Aug 10, 2007  at  03:49 PM
Nope, Eclyse isn't a fake, even it is hardly to believe. There are so much reports and articles about her, _just because_ her colouring is so highly uncommon, even for a zorse. Front and back of a zebra, middle of a horse. Her existence is absolutely an accident and was not "planned"...either way, she is unique...and beautiful, in my opinion 😉

Posted by Sven  on  Wed Aug 15, 2007  at  08:41 AM
cool pics!!!!
Posted by sue  on  Fri Sep 21, 2007  at  08:38 PM
Posted by whoeverur  on  Thu Apr 24, 2008  at  02:53 PM
It's fun to see how her color has changed. Her baby pictures were featured in a magazine called Jr. Rider (from the makers of Horse Illustrated) and she was kind of an orange tabby cat color on her striped areas as a foal. Now her stripes have darkened and she has more of a dun sheen underneath. She's absolultely beautiful.

Yes, horses and zebras are genetically close enough to reproduce, but the offspring are generally sterile. It is the same as breeding donkeys and horses to get mules.

TJ Zerbra Donkeys are actually donkeys that are spray painted to look like zebras so that tourists can have their pix taken with them. They are a tourist attraction, but are not real zeedonks.
Posted by Ang  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  09:48 AM
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