Donkey Facts

Donkey Facts
Donkey is the smallest member of the horse family. It was created 5.000 years ago from the African wild ass in Africa and Middle East. Donkey is used as a working animal (to carry heavy loads and pull plough) in the poor countries. Out of 41 million donkeys in the world, 11 millions can be found in China. Besides on the farms, donkeys can be also found in the wild in Mexico and southern parts of the USA (feral populations of donkey). Donkey's ancestor, African wild ass, still exists in the wild (in the Horn of Africa), but it is classified as critically endangered.
Interesting Donkey Facts:
Donkey can reach 31 to 63 inches in height and 180 to 1.060 pounds of weight.
Donkey can have short or long, shaggy coat that can be black, gray, white or brown colored.
Donkey has big head with large ears, short, stiff mane on the neck, small feet with sharp hooves and cow-like tail. Its large ears are used to eliminate excess heat from the body and to facilitate detection of sounds in desert (wild donkeys can detect each other from a distance of 60 miles).
Donkey is a herbivore. Its diet is based on grass and grains. Unlike many other animals, donkey can extract moisture from very tough, dry plants.
Donkey has excellent memory and ability to recognize other donkeys, people and areas even after 25 years.
Donkey is often marked as stubborn, but it actually has very strongly instinct for self-preservation. In the case it detects danger, donkey refuses to move further.
Donkey is often used to guard flocks of sheep and goats and to herd cattle because of its intelligence and ability to analyze and act according to the situation.
Donkey doesn't like coyotes, wolves and domestic dogs. It doesn't hesitate to use its teeth and hind legs to protect itself against predators.
Donkey doesn't like to be alone. It likes to spend time with other donkeys or some other type of animals.
Donkey is docile, affectionate and playful, which is why it is popular as pet in the USA.
Male donkey is called jack and female - jenny. Donkey and horse can successfully interbreed and produce: mule (jack + mare) and hinny (jenny + stallion). Mules and hinnies are sterile, but they are stronger and larger than donkey (hence, better "workers").
Wild donkeys produce loud braying noise to keep in touch with each other.
Pregnancy in donkey lasts around 11 months and ends with single baby (foal).
Donkey's milk contains more sugar and proteins and less fat than cow's milk. It was used in treatment of premature babies, sick children and people diagnosed with tuberculosis in the past.
Donkey can survive 40 to 50 years (under optimal conditions), but it usually lives much shorter (12 to 15 years due to extreme exploitation).

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