- 25-40 years
- Length: 33-38 inches at the withers (highest part of the back at the base of the neck)
- Weight: 200-400 lbs
- Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia
- Donkeys evolved in a desert climate and have been domesticated for at least 2000 years.
- Wild: Grasses and other vegetation
- Zoo: Timothy hay and oats
- Females (jennets) are fertile at one year of age, but there is a risk of the mother abandoning her foal. The typical beginning breeding age is around three years of age.
- Males (jacks) are also fertile at one year of age or earlier.
- Gestation can last 11 ½ months to 13 months.
- Large ears help donkeys dissipate heat.
- They also serve as way to communicate to other donkeys, along with the tail, body language, and verbal cues
- Donkeys have tough, compact hooves to handle sandy and rocky terrain.
- Most donkeys have a distinct dark cross along their back and shoulders called a donkey’s cross.
- They were used for grinding stones for grain, carrying water from village wells, and supplies into the mountains for Shepherds.
- Miniature donkeys were brought to the United States in the 1920’s from the Mediterranean.
- IUCN: Not Evaluated
- CITES: Not Listed
- Although they are thriving in the United States, purebred miniature donkeys are nearly extinct in their native land due to breeding with larger breeds.
- CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cities.org
- IUCN Red List. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
- Equus asinus (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/pages/328647