Miniature Donkeys Make Their Debut at Knoxville Zoo

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Miniature Donkeys Make Their Debut at Knoxville Zoo

Posted: 03/01/2010
Cuteness is catching on at Knoxville Zoo with the arrival of Alex and Ice, two miniature donkeys who are sure to be a hit with visitors to The Clayton Family Kids Cove. Alex and Ice made their official debut this week in the Kids Cove contact yard and plans are for them to take walks through the zoo to greet visitors in the near future.

Miniature donkeys are also known as Sardinian donkeys, since they originated on the Mediterranean islands around Sicily and Sardinia. Miniature donkeys have an average height around 34 inches and weigh between 200 and 300 pounds when full grown. The zoo's two miniature donkeys, named Ice and Alex, are males and just over a year old.

Zoo staff felt miniature donkeys would be a perfect breed to interact with visitors. "We think Alex and Ice will be a big hit with visitors. As a breed, they're very good with people, especially kids," says Terry Cannon, curator of mammals at Knoxville Zoo. "And it doesn't hurt that they are irresistibly cute," he adds. 
Knoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is open every day except Christmas Day. The zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Currently, the zoo is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Beginning March 13, zoo hours will be weekdays from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and weekends from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit