Tijuana Zebra

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A Tijuana Zebra
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]


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]

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.

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  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.

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