Detroit Zoo says miniature donkey, known to guests for 27 years, has died

Giovanni the miniature donkey. (Detroit Zoological Society)

A longtime staple of the Detroit Zoo, a miniature donkey named Giovanni, has passed away, according to the zoo.

The Detroit Zoo said on Facebook Monday that Giovanni the miniature donkey, who spent his 27 years delighting staff and guest alike, has died.

The Zoo said that Giovanni, known as “Gio” to staff, was recognizable by his dark gray fur and the white spot on his forehead. He spent most of his time close by his fellow donkey, Knick-Knack, and was a caring and faithful companion to her. Gio was a friendly donkey who greeted staff each morning by calling out with a friendly bray.

“All of us at the Detroit Zoological Society are grieving Gio’s loss, and we know he will be missed by all who came to see him.” the zoo said.

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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.