Today we will tell you interesting facts about donkeys.
Donkeys have always been considered more humble animals than horses. For many centuries, they allowed only noble people to ride horses, but all the others got only their humble relatives, known for their obstinacy. But do not underestimate them – they certainly have stubbornness, but they are no less famous for their endurance, hard work, and high intelligence.
Facts about donkeys
- Mankind has been using donkeys as ancillary animals for about 5000 years, and they were most likely domesticated by the people of Ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia. In some countries, these animals have not lost their importance, and they are widely used by local people, especially in rural areas. For example, in Pakistan and Afghanistan and many African countries.
- Ass and donkey are the same animals, just donkeys are both wild and domestic, and ass points to a domesticated animal. Nowadays, wild donkeys live only in East Africa, mainly in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan, but there are already less than a thousand animals left. Most likely, they will disappear soon. In Australia, there are more than 1 million wild donkeys, but they are different from the “primordial wild”.
- Donkeys can successfully cross with horses. Progeny from a male donkey is called a mule, and from a donkey and a horse is called a horse. True, horses are much less popular than mules, to which they are inferior in endurance. In today’s world, the term “mule” also sometimes refers to hybrids from different animal species in general.
- Donkey stubbornness has long been a common expression. These animals are not so much stubborn as careful. Because of a very well developed instinct of self-preservation, it is almost impossible to make them do what they do not want to do. With camels, by the way, it’s the same story.
- The voices of donkeys are loud, but not sounding. The expression “roar like a donkey” is usually used to refer to unpleasant screams. In terms of loudness, by the way, with these animals, few can argue – you can hear them roaring up to 3-5 kilometers away.
- Pregnancy of donkeys lasts quite indefinitely but is still longer than in humans – from 11 to 14 months. Almost always only one colt is born, twins are extremely rare. In cases where twins do come into being, both colts survive only in 14% of cases, because in such cases either one of them or both are very weak.
- Donkeys can tolerate hot and dry climates well, but they are not very comfortable in damp conditions. Particularly dangerous is dampness combined with cold – under these conditions, the hooves of these animals begin to suffer, and they need special care. Fortunately, in all countries where these animals are still widely used, the climate is suitable for them.
- Wild and feral donkeys live for about 25 years, and their domestic families can live more than 50 years with proper care. But only in caring hands – in poor countries, unhappy animals are often ruthlessly exploited, and as a result, they live in such conditions no more than 12-15 years.
- Back in the Middle Ages, donkeys were sometimes bred not only for work but also for milk, meat, and skin. For a long time, most of the parchment was made of donkey skin, and fatty donkey milk was used as a cosmetic product.
- Donkeys’ hooves, unlike horses, are not adapted for a quick jump, but they are better suited for moving around in stony terrain and deserts. Donkeys can still reach speeds of up to 70 km/h, however, they just don’t usually have to run so fast.
Did you like interesting facts about donkeys? Share it with your friends.