For thousands of years, donkeys have been truly underrated animals. Despite the popular misconception that sweet creatures lack intelligence, donkeys are extremely wise compared to other farm animals, including the horse, which is one of their closest relatives.
Want to know more about this precious animal? Here is a collection of adorable baby donkeys photos along with 20 of their most fascinating facts.
1. A donkey is stronger than a horse of the same size
You can't force a donkey to follow your command, as they must chose to accept the task they're given.
2. All donkeys living in the U.K. must have a passport
This is so each donkey could be easily identified and transported internationally without hassle.
3. A donkey can live for more than 40 years
Donkeys also have a longer lifespan than horses, who typically live up to a decade less.
4. China has the highest population of donkeys in the world
There are about 11 million donkeys living in China, compared to the 31 million who are scattered elsewhere in the world.
5. A domesticated donkey can weigh up to 500 pounds
If you think that's hefty, a wild donkey usually weigh around 551 pounds, while a mammoth jackstock donkey (the largest breed of donkey) can weigh up to a staggering 950 pounds.
6. A donkey can hear one of their peers from as far as 60 miles away.
Not only are donkeys' ears far larger than a horse's, they also help to keep them cool.
7. The product of a male horse and female donkey is called a hinny
But when a female donkey and male horse mate, the animal is called a mule.
8. A female donkey is pregnant for 365 days
They'll typically only give birth to one foal at a time, as having twins is exceptionally rare.
9. Male mules are sterile animals
But a female mule can mate with other donkeys and horses, called a donkule or hule respectively.
10. Donkeys are herd animals
Since donkeys hate to be alone, if none of their own species are around, they'll befriend a herd of goats.
11. A donkey's bray (cry) can be heard from nearly two miles away
The average bray lasts for about 20 seconds.
12. Donkeys are prone to overeating
They eat about 5% of their body weight per day, with a diet mainly consisting of straw and hay.
13. Donkeys clean each other just like monkeys and chimps do
These duties include cleaning the fur and removing dirt and insects.
14. Donkeys can survive in desert climates
They can live in these harsh conditions because they actually originate from the Middle East and Africa. Donkeys are also considered all-terrain animals.
15. All donkeys have a leader
Even domesticated donkeys choose a leader, who is typically the strongest out of the pack. When the herd is faced with a predator, the leader will often stay behind to fend them off while the others escape.
16. Donkeys have an incredible memory
These animals can remember their fellow donkeys and recognize the places they've been up to the past 25 years.
17. When a donkey is travelling and realizes they're unsafe, it will stop in its tracks and dig in their heels
Those oblivious to a donkey's intelligence often confuse this behavior with being stubborn.
18. Aside from camels, donkeys have the lowest water requirement
They're even picky about what the water they drink too. If donkeys deem it too dirty to sip, they will make the decision to go without it.
19. Donkeys played an important role in World War I
They were used by the British to transport soldiers, weapons, ammunition and food.
20. Farmers use donkeys to protect their other livestock
They're great at protecting sheep, goats and calves from dogs and coyotes since they are normally aggressive animals.
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