Tijuana Embraces its Touristy ‘Zonkeys’
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 03.25.10 | 10:39 AM ET
Behold the zonkey. This poor donkey and others like it, painted with stripes to resemble zebras, have been a kitschy mainstay on Tijuana’s Avenida Revolución for years. Before drug-related crime frightened most tourists away—visits from the U.S. have dropped off 80 percent since 2001—many would pay a few bucks to don sombreros and pose for photos with the animals. It’s a ridiculous tradition that somehow endures.
And now, a new Tijuana basketball team playing in a regional Mexican league has embraced the painted zebras, calling themselves the Tijuana Zonkeys. They have striped jerseys and, yes, even cheering “Zonkeys girls.”
The team’s president told the San Diego Union-Tribune: “It’s a crazy, cartoonish figure, and in a way, that’s what the city’s all about. It’s a crazy, cartoonish city where everything is possible.”
He’s right about that.