Standard Donkey

Equus asinus

Mammal | North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Middle East

Animal Info

Donkeys were historically used as pack animals to carry heavy loads over long distances. They were more desirable than horses since they are smaller in size, hardier, and can subsist on poorer quality of food while still being able to carry substantial weight.

Donkeys have larger ears than horses, which help to cool them – an adaptation to living in warm weather. They have very powerful bites and kicks which they will use in defense. Donkeys also have loud vocalizations which help them to keep in contact with each other, even over long distances

Here’s an interesting fact: donkeys have a soothing effect on other livestock animals. They are often kept with young, nervous, injured or recovering animals to help soothe them.

Donkeys can live as long as 40-50 years. 


In the wild: Grasses and other plant matter

At the Zoo: Hay


Donkeys evolved in a desert habitat but have been domesticated for over 2000 years

Conservation Status

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – not evaluated