Bonus content here because we have enough space

(Equus asinus (dom))


Domesticated breed. Worldwide distribution. Originated in Somalia and surrounding African countries.


Domestic breed.

biological characteristics

Donkeys are related to horses and zebras. The donkey is a descendant of the African wild ass, which is now rare. They have developed very loud ‘voices’, which can carry just over three kilometres. This allows them to keep in contact with one another. Their larger ears also allow them to hear the distant calls of their neighbours. Donkeys also use their ears as a form of visual communication and they may help dissipate some of the hot desert heat.

conservation status

Not listed as endangered, considered common.


  • Donkeys range in size from the Miniature Mediterranean (under 91cm) to larger donkeys such as the rare French Poitou (up to 150cm) with its
    large head and ears and thick, shaggy coat.

  • Donkeys often live for 25 years or more. Some have been recorded as living to the ripe old age of 60, although a 40 year-old donkey is considered to be elderly.

  • Donkeys do not have natural ‘waterproof’ coats like horses and so must find shelter.

  • Domestic donkeys tend to be classified by their size rather than breed, as nowadays there are not many pure breeds left.

fact file

They mostly eat fruits, but also flowers and leaves of over 60 different plant species in the wild.