Court asks if donkey at fault for mistaking orange sports car for carrot

Lucinda Watts
Lucinda Watts - [email protected]
Court asks if donkey at fault for mistaking orange sports car for carrot
Photo: DPA and Wikipedia

A court case has been in session in Gießen this week over a rather unusual dispute: a hungry donkey, a bright orange Mclaren sports car and thousands of euros of damage.


On September 15th last year Markus Zahn parked his €300,000 bright orange Mclaren 650S Spider in a car park bordering a paddock in the state of Hesse.

To his misfortune, a donkey by the name of Fitus, who was grazing in the paddock at the time, decided to take a bite out of the car. Police speculated at the time that he had mistaken the garish vehicle for a a carrot.

After dropping off his health card, Zahn returned to his car, but was surprised to see a fluffy pair of ears in his rear wing-mirror, he told Bild

The 49-year-old entrepreneur then heard a strange sound, which turned out to be Fitus attempting to take a large bite out of the rear fender, causing €30,000 worth of damage. 

The Mclaren 650s Spider. Photo: Wikipedia

Zahn took the ordeal in good humour, telling Bild, “the donkey probably thought the car was a carrot on wheels, I’m not mad at him.”

But he still holds Fitus accountable for the money he had to pay for the repairs.

Although the Mclaren garage covered most of the damages, Zahn still had to pay €6,000.

He is now seeking compensation Fitus’ owner's insurance. The insurer has thus far refused to pay out, claiming that Zahn is to blame because it was his choice to park there.

On September 28th, Gießen district court will announce who is liable for the damage. Fitus is not expected to appear in court. He has since moved to a farm in Poppenhausen, a town 30 kilometres away.


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