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Thunder Says,
“Save a Horse, Ride a Zdonk, Zonie or Zorse”By Don Linker                                                     By Don Linker

Greetings from AA Exotic Farm in Phil Campbell. My name is Thunder and I am an 8-year-old zebra. My cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. are still wandering on the Serengeti Plains of Africa. Boy, am I glad I’m not there with lions and hyenas chasing me for their lunch!

I am a Burchell Zebra or more commonly known as a plains zebra. We have a body like a stocky pony, height about 12 hands or 48 inches; weight about 550 pounds with a very shiny coat which dissipates over 70% of incoming heat. The stripes that cover my body act as a sort of camo and are distinct as fingerprints in humans, hence individual zebras can be identified and studied by scientists in their natural habitat.

I was born in captivity and have been pampered all my life. Early on I was taken from my mother and given a bottle every 2 hours. This served to make sure I got enough milk and also to help me bond with humans. Lions may be Kings of the Jungle, but here at AA Exotic Farm, I can claim that title.

I share the farm with a menagerie of other odd animals including fainting goats. Boy, those things are a hoot, always fainting at loud noises or maybe a horn blowing or sometimes just a handclap! The lovebirds are so sickening, always cooing and cuddling. What a laugh! It can get real loud at times, especially when the geese start honking, the ducks quacking, hens cackling and the peacocks yelling. But I don’t mind because that usually means feeding time (some of that good stuff from Franklin County Co-op).

There are also some rabbits. I think they are called Lion’s Mane Rabbits; they are really cute. You never hear anything out of them; they keep a real low profile. I like that. The dogs are another story. The bloodhound has a verrry irritating bawl and the blue heeler’s bark is so shrill that sometimes it is hard to sleep. I would have to say that I have no problems with any of my mates, but my favorites are the miniature Hereford cow and the rabbits (they are quiet).

Enough about all that, let’s talk about me! I am really quite the jenny’s meow. I stand out in a crowd, am a sharp dresser, can run with the best of them and as for agility, I wrote the book (try running from lions or hyenas without some moves!) My purpose here is to cross with the jennies with the resulting young being called a zdonk. Zdonks are used for pets, pulling carts, riding and sometimes just to look at. When crossed with a pony mare, you get a zonie, which can be used for the same purpose as a zdonk. Zorses are the result of crossing a zebra, such as me, with a large mare. The offspring are very quick and agile and can be used for a wide variety of equestrian disciplines.

At this time I would like to thank Karen Linker, manager, and her crew at the Franklin County Co-op for all their help when questions arise and for having what we need when we need it.

Now if your interest has been sparked and you would like more information on zdonks, zonies, zorses, Lion’s Mane rabbits or exotics of any kind, please call me at AA Exotic Farm at 256-331-4877 or 256-668-0462. Just ask for Thunder.

Don Linker is an outside salesman for AFC.



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Date Last Updated January, 2006