A German court ruled Thursday that the owner of Vitus the donkey owed Markus Zahn €5800 ($6844) in damages for chewing on his orange McLaren Spider sportscar. The damages were paid for paintwork and minor structural damage to the car’s rear. Experts speculate that the donkey may have mistaken the car for a carrot. The man took the owner to court because the donkey’s insurance company wouldn’t pay for the repairs. “They said it was my fault for parking there” he told BBC Radio 4 today. Vitus the donkey apparently has a track record of car consumption. A year earlier, he’d been caught chewing a Mercedes-Benz, removing part of the model plate.
In related news, an unnamed man has won a million-dollar lawsuit against a monkey who attacked his large yellow hat. The monkey, known as George, was arrested for assault after he jumped onto the man and began biting at the headwear. Animal behavior specialists hypothesize that the monkey believed the hat to be a large banana. The hat’s designer, Louis Vuitton, is reportedly “offended” that his product had been mistaken for fruit. Animal rights groups attacked the ruling, announced Friday by the Ohio 5th District Court, claiming discrimination against primates. They argue that George should be, “allowed the right to misinterpret headwear as fruit.” The monkey’s lawyers are expected to appeal the decision.
This isn’t the first instance of such an occurrence, either. The monkey, known for his curiosity, previously accidentally called the fire department, who arrested him for a false alarm. The monkey is not expected to serve jail time for this conviction, but he will be sent to the Toledo Zoo for rehabilitation.