Common Name: Miniature Donkey Scientific Name: Equus asinus asinus miniature
LEAST CONCERN Miniature Donkey Distribution: Northern Africa (African Wild Ass) Habitat: Desert (African Wild Ass) Height: 80-85cm at shoulder Weight: 90-200kg Diet: Herbivorous
The ancestor of the donkey is the African wild ass, which lives in rocky deserts. It was domesticated in the Middle East before 3,000 BC for use as a ‘beast of burden’, they can easily carry up to 30% of their own body weight. More recently they have been used as companions and were a common sight on beaches throughout England providing rides for tourists. Donkeys have a notorious reputation for being stubborn however this is not entirely accurate. Donkeys have a strong sense of ‘self preservation’ so it is considerably difficult to force a donkey into doing something it perceives to be dangerous. This demonstrates that actually donkeys appear to be quite intelligent as well as, cautious, friendly, playful and eager to learn. Domestic donkeys are common throughout the world, however, the original, wild breed is now endangered. Miniature donkeys are a breed of donkey that originates from Sardinia and Sicily. They have become popular in the last 100 years as companion animals. They are very friendly and calm animals so they are suitable for young children. Donkeys are herd animals, so they should never be kept alone. They are fed on hay, and care has to be taken not to overfeed them. This is because donkeys are desert animals they use their food efficiently and it is easy for them to get too fat!