Tijuana Zebra

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A Tijuana Zebra Tijuana-zebra.jpg
A Tijuana Zebra

A Tijuana Zebra, Tijuana Zonkey or simply zonkey) is a donkey that has been painted with stripes so that it looks like a zebra. [1] [2] [3]

Donkey subspecies of mammal (donkey as a domesticated subspecies)

The donkey or ass is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African wild ass, E. africanus. The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally as draught or pack animals. Working donkeys are often associated with those living at or below subsistence levels. Small numbers of donkeys are kept for breeding or as pets in developed countries.

Zebra black and white striped animals in the horse family

Zebras are several species of African equids united by their distinctive black-and-white striped coats. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated.



Tijuana zebras are a popular tourist attraction in Tijuana, Mexico, a city that borders the United States. The first known photo of a tourist posing with a Tijuana donkey is from 1914. [4]

Tijuana City in Baja California, Mexico

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California and on the Baja California Peninsula. It is part of the San Diego–Tijuana international transborder agglomeration and the larger Southern California megalopolis. As one of the largest and fastest-growing cities of Mexico, Tijuana exerts a strong influence on local economics, education, culture, art, and politics. As the city has become a leading center in the country, so has the surrounding metropolitan area, a major industrial and paramount metropolis in northwestern Mexico. Currently one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in Mexico, Tijuana maintains global city status. As of 2015, the city of Tijuana had a population of 1,641,570.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

The Tijuana painted donkey, or Tijuana Zebra, came about some time in the middle of the twentieth century. The reason for painting the donkeys was to ensure that the animal be seen in photographs. Since the donkeys were mostly white, on sunny days with the old black and white cameras the donkey would be seen as a ghostly figure. A long-time tourist staple, the donkeys are usually set up in front of a cart on which tourists fitted with traditional sombreros sit and get ready for their picture to be taken. The donkeys live on a hillside below the Casa de la Cultura in Tijuana.

See also

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<i>Equus</i> (genus) genus of mammals

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Avenida Revolución

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Equid hybrids, also called hybrid equines, are created from the crossing of members from the horse family such as a horse, donkey and zebra.

Zonkey may refer to:


  1. Madrid, Alejandro L. (2008). Nor-tec rifa! : electronic dance music from Tijuana to the world. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 17, 63. ISBN   978-0-19-534262-8. The history of and the everyday life in a place like Tijuana, [...] is marked by stereotypes from both Mexico and the United States (the donkeys painted as zebras) [...] The presence of the stereotypical donkeys painted as zebras [...]
  2. Manzanas, Ana Ma., ed. (2007). Border transits : literature and culture across the line. Amsterdam: Rodopi. p. 40,55. ISBN   978-90-420-2249-2. My city isn't just a street filled with [...] striped donkeys made to look like zebras [...] [...] Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana, the main tourist strip, where donkeys painted as zebras"zonkeys" [z(ebra) (d)onkey] (Yepez 2005: 5=)wait to pose for a picture with tourists.
  3. Dear, Michael; Berelowitz, Jo-Anne, eds. (2003). Postborder city : cultural spaces of Bajalta California. New York: Routledge. p. 24. ISBN   978-0-415-94420-5. [...] "zonkeys," replicas of the black- and white-striped, painted burros commonly seen along the touristic Calle Revolucion in Tijuana. The zonkeys in Tijuana are props for tourists to pose alongside, [...]
  4. Replogle, Jill. "Group Wants To Preserve Tijuana's Zonkeys". kpbs.org/. KPBS. Retrieved 20 February 2015.