Letter | Published:

A Relapsed Donkey

Nature volume 13, page 486 | Download Citation



SOME years ago on one of the Lucknow roads I met a “Dhobi” (washerman) with some donkeys. I send you a picture of one of them, made by a native artist. It shows, I think, the relationship between the zebra and the donkey better than many which I have seen. Mules and horses often show zebra marks on their legs, but I have never before or since seen the marks so well displayed on the trunk and legs as in this donkey. The stripes on the body are blended together at their base, and so are the stripes on the legs blended into bands. At the time I endeavoured to find out whether in the days of the kings of Oudh there had been any zebra in Lucknow which might have bred with donkeys, but could find nothing about it. Had there been a zebra which bred with donkeys, I think these would have been more of these striped animals; but this is the only one I have seen since 1858. I think it a case of simple atavism. Perhaps you may think it worthy of a record in NATURE. All “Dhobis” donkeys are small, wretched creatures, mostly with crooked legs.

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  1. Lucknow, Feb. 29

    • E. BONAVIA


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