Sicilian Donkey Sophia

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Meet Sophia during a Backstage Pass adventure.

Meet Sophia during a Backstage Pass adventure.

Sophia is a Sicilian donkey who is so beautiful we named her after Sophia Loren. It could be Ms. Loren would find it a compliment as well, because Sophia has grace, style, and loves her audience. If lasting first impressions are made within the first 20 seconds of a meeting, then you are certain to become a fan of Sophia. Her calm demeanor, large ears, and long-haired body convey a character found in childrens books. These miniature donkeys are so friendly they are classified as domestic and would make a great companion in a home environment.

So why does the San Diego Zoo, which prides itself on having an amazing collection of exotic wildlife, have one? For the simple fact of pleasure. Our guests let out shouts of glee when they first lay eyes on this hooved beauty. Children from all walks of life come running to greet her. She loves her adoring fans, so she’ll stop right in her tracks and let you pet her, and she’ll take in all the cooing and laughter that accompanies this interaction.

Where can you see her? She lives in our Backstage Pass area in the Zoo’s Urban Jungle zone. When she’s not entertaining ticket holders of this new guest adventure, she’s out having her daily walks by the giraffes. If you want to get a portrait with a movie star named Sophia, come and be a part of the San Diego Zoo’s Backstage Pass program. We’d love to act as the paparazzi . . . just this once.

Maureen O. Duryee is a senior animal trainer at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Jirra, the Not So Red Kangaroo.

Watch video of Backstage Pass.

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