10 Incredible Donkey Facts – W3schools

Also known as an ass or burrow, a donkey is a hoofed animal that belongs to the Equidae spouse and children. Donkeys have a very long and assorted historical past with roots in Africa and Asia. About 6000 yrs in the past, all through the predynastic period of time of Egypt, the wild African ass (E. africanus) in northeastern Africa was bred to appear up with the contemporary domestic donkey (Equus asinus). 

The wild ass subspecies: the Somali ass (E. africanus somaliensis) and the Nubian ass (Equs africanus africanus), are thought to have played a role in the growth of the fashionable donkey. However, mtDNA effects counsel that the Nubian is the only wild species genetically contributing to the recent domesticated donkey. These two wild asses nonetheless exist but are on the IUCN Purple Record as critically endangered species.

Domestic donkeys are largely utilised in many international locations as pack animals. You have most likely heard about its famed obstinance, but do you know any rationale powering it? How about its exclusive vocalization or its big ears? Read through on to discover far more unbelievable facts about this underappreciated animal.

1. There are more than 50 million donkeys in the entire world

baby donkey in the mountains
A few donkeys are stored for breeding or as pets in producing international locations.

W3schools/Jacek Jacobi

In accordance to the Nationwide Library of Science, Ethiopia features the greatest donkey population, with above 8 million donkeys by 2018. The beast of burden population is dominant in Africa, in which most nations use it as a pack animal and as a source of milk and meat. A number of donkeys are held for breeding or as animals in building nations.

2. Donkeys have extra distinguished ears than horses and ponies

Donkeys developed from warm climates where by food was typically scarce in their natural environment. So, they go independent strategies to discover foodstuff, and their large ears aid them hear every single other from much away. The donkey’s massive ears have a ton of floor region, which can help move warmth absent from the donkey’s human body and preserve it amazing.

3. Donkeys are social animals

baby donkey and mother
Domestic donkeys like to be in the enterprise of other animals fairly than remaining by yourself.


In their all-natural habitat, donkeys are living in herds with lifelong and deep bonds. Pair-bonding is enthusiastic by sexual desires and kinship. The pair bonds or social associations involving donkeys count on each individual party’s capability to pick their partners using cues innate to on their own. Domestic donkeys want to be in the firm of other animals instead than getting by yourself.

4. Donkeys’ vocalization is exclusive

The hee-haw sound that donkeys make is known as a bray. Donkeys bray as a way of communicating with other donkeys, to voice their thoughts of loneliness, irritation, or distress. They also bray when hungry or alert other folks of impending hazard. Male donkeys bray extra than their woman counterparts because they are more vocal. Donkeys bray loudly in deserts to keep get hold of with other donkeys more than extensive spaces.

5. Donkeys can participate in the function of guard animals

Donkeys are territorial and aggressive towards threatening predators. Sheep farmers in the United States, Canada, and Australia use donkeys as guard animals. They aren’t a risk to humans.

6. Donkey droppings do not make outstanding manure

baby donkey in a field
It usually takes concerning a few and 4 months for donkey manure to decompose.


Donkeys are browsers and graze for very long hours in the course of the working day, feeding on just about any plant on sight. Their food plan is made up of high-fiber plant material. Their digestive devices proficiently metabolize their food and absorb the most nutrition just before passing the waste. 

Composting with donkey manure is basically the very same as composting with horse manure. As a consequence, their droppings have lower nitrogen concentrations and heaps of vitamins and minerals. It also will take among a few and four months for donkey manure to decompose.

7. KneeHi is the world’s shortest donkey

KneeHi is a registered miniature Mediterranean donkey at 24.29 inches (about 64 cm) tall, calculated to the top of the withers. As licensed by Guinness Earth Information, KneeHi is the shortest donkey. KneeHi lives at Finest Close friends Farm in Gainesville, Florida, and is owned by Jim and Frankie Lee.

8. Donkeys exude stubbornness for a purpose

Donkey Teeth - Donkey with Mouth Open
Donkeys have a standing for standing their floor.


Donkeys have a standing for standing their ground and are not effortlessly startled like their counterparts, horses. This all-natural phenomenon birthed the saying “as stubborn as a mule.” It is really worth noting, however, that this conduct is enthusiastic by their instinctive nature to self-preserve. In the experience of threat, they keep set in a place to assess the problem and decide their up coming go.

9. Poitou donkey is the world’s most hairy donkey

The Poitou donkey is named right after the west-central region of France where by the breed is indigenous the Poitou donkey is super bushy and relatively massive. Its physique is coated in up to 50 %-foot-lengthy hair, and it has larger sized feet than other donkeys. Poitou donkeys are primarily applied in the breeding of mules. It is a common perception that a mule descended from a Mulassiere and a Poitou tends to make the finest mule for perform.

10. Donkeys’ pores and skin need in China is for medicinal use

Donkey hides are utilised in China to make a regular drugs known as ejiao, also known as colla corii asini. Collagen extracted from donkey skin is mixed with herbs and other elements to make attractiveness merchandise, tablets, and other consumables thought to have therapeutic energy. 

Ejiao is considered to remedy untimely getting old, circulatory problems, and miscarriages. The heightened demand from customers for ejiao fueled the need for donkey hides in China. This has led to the decimation of the donkey populace in China and other nations around the world exporting the hides to China. 

The Ejiao trade has inspired unsustainable and unlawful trade in donkeys and their cruel treatment method. Most communities have lost their implies of livelihood and seasoned ecosystem imbalances owing to the unlawful donkey trade. As a consequence, some international locations, like Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, have banned the export of donkeys or donkey products. 

Various governmental and non-governmental organizations, this kind of as the donkey sanctuary in the British isles, are championing the regulation of the donkey trade. They intention to decrease the cruelty donkeys face and protect the donkey inhabitants. In accordance to the animal journal, most breeds of donkeys are susceptible to extinction owing to agricultural mechanization.

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