Donkeys, unassuming as they look, are quite fascinating creatures! They were the original beasts of burden and have been present in many of the world’s cultures throughout history. More people should learn about donkeys because they have been labeled as stubborn for years. But donkeys deserve some time in the spotlight!

Here are 10 incredible and interesting donkey facts that show just how amazing these creatures really are.


Top 10  Facts About Donkeys

1. Donkeys have incredible memories

Usually, when people think about animals with a good memory, animals like elephants, dolphins, and dogs come to mind. However, donkeys have been shown to remember other donkeys and areas they’ve been to from as long as 25 years ago.

donkey standing in the field
Image Credit: Kevinsphotos, Pixabay

2. Their unique vocalizations are called braying

Ever heard a donkey hee-haw? They were probably trying to tell you (or other donkeys in the vicinity) something important. Donkeys bray to communicate with each other and even to share their feelings of distress, discomfort, or even loneliness. Males also tend to be more vocal than females.

3. Donkeys are very social creatures

They form close bonds with both other donkeys and humans and enjoy spending time in close contact with them. In fact, if donkeys are kept alone, they can become depressed. So, if you are in the market to buy a donkey, get two!

wild donkeys living in outback Australia
Image Credit: Gina Rieck, Shutterstock

4. Sheep farmers sometimes use donkeys as guard animals

Donkeys may look docile, but they can actually be quite fierce when they feel their flock is threatened. Their loud braying and powerful kicks are enough to deter most predators, and they’re also very territorial, so they’ll make sure to chase away anything that comes too close. As a result, donkeys have been used by sheep farmers from around the world to guard their flocks.

5. The world’s shortest donkey stood at only 24.29 inches

mediterranean miniature donkey grazing on lush grass in a field
Image Credit: Pete Gallop, Shutterstock

Aptly named “KneeHi,” this miniature Mediterranean donkey was born and lived in Florida. He was officially the world’s shortest donkey, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Tiny but mighty!

6. They’re the reason for the saying “stubborn as a mule”

We have donkeys to thank for this popular expression! Donkeys are known for their stubbornness and will often refuse to do something they don’t want to do—no matter how much you try to convince them.

This is especially true in the face of danger. Unlike horses, they do not get spooked or startled easily. Instead, they’ll stay in place as they assess the situation, which can make them seem quite stubborn.

7. Donkeys have been used as working animals for thousands of years

Ancient Egyptians, for instance, used donkeys to ferry precious metals from Africa to Egypt. They also traversed the Silk Road, carrying goods between Asia and Europe. So, it’s safe to say that donkeys have played a vital role in trade and commerce throughout history.

donkeys carrying goods for human
Image Credit: Simon, Pixabay

8. Donkeys are very sure-footed

One of the reasons donkeys have been such useful working animals is because of their sure-footedness. They have a natural ability to maintain their balance, even on rough or uneven terrain. That’s why they were such important vineyard workers in Greece and Spain. They could easily walk along the narrow pathways between vines without trampling the grapes.

9. Donkeys can live for over 50 years

While the average lifespan of a donkey is around 30 years, some have been known to live for over 50 years. The oldest donkey on record was named Suzy, and she lived until she was 54 years old, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

donkeys in the pasture
Image Credit: MurrrPhoto, Pixabay

10. There’s a type of donkey that grows long hair

Poitou donkeys are the world’s hairiest donkeys! They’re native to France, and their long, shaggy hair can grow up to half a foot long. Who would have thought that donkeys could be handsome?


Wrapping It Up

There you have it—there’s definitely more to donkeys than meets the eye! From their long lifespans to their social nature, there’s a lot to love about these beautiful and hardworking animals. Next time you go to a farm or a homestead and spot one of these creatures, you can appreciate these animals a whole lot more!

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Featured Image Credit: dendoktoor, Pixabay