The African Penguin used to be called the Jackass Penguin. A strange name for a penguin. But how did it get that name? It is because the African Penguin's call sounds like a braying donkey. Right, so now we have established that they sound like a donkey, but why were they called Jackass? Donkey's are also called Asses (the scientific name is Equus africanus Asinus) while a male donkey is called a Jack. Hence Jackass. Check out this video by Hanging Out With Ryan of the penguins braying at SAMREC and tell me that doesn't sound like a donkey.