Zoo Animals



Equus asinus 

At the Detroit Zoo
Female Knick-Knack and male Giovanni both were born in 1994. Knick-Knack, who arrived at the Detroit Zoo in 1994, is described as shy but very affectionate. Giovanni, who arrived roughly a year later from a farm in St. Clair, Mich., is best described as interactive and doesn’t like to be ignored. The miniature donkeys can be found in the Barn with the belted Galloway steer, domestic yak, Thoroughbred horses, pigs and other barnyard animals.

The miniature donkey resembles a horse and is characterized by its large head, long ears and cow-like tail. It can be black, white and all shades of brown and gray, but the most common color is a mousy-gray called “gray dun”. It can be spotted, speckled or striped and its hair can be straight, curly, short and wiry or long and wooly. A solid-color donkey has a dark dorsal stripe from mane to tail and a dark stripe across its shoulders. It has an erect mane and lacks the forelock of a horse.

Fun Facts

  • The miniature donkey is observant and cautious. It will refuse to do anything that seems dangerous to it. This behavior has earned the donkey its reputation for being stubborn, but actually, a domestic donkey is very obedient and will not refuse any reasonable request.