Besties Thor and Mickey
There is a tendency to treat donkeys as if they are small horses, but donkeys are different! Donkeys are not like horses – they differ physically, mentally and emotionally.
Donkeys are a very intelligent species and are particularly sensitive to the effects of stress.
Donkeys are said to have a relatively stubborn temperament. But they are not truly stubborn – they are just very good at taking care of themselves. Their self-preservation instincts are strong. They will refuse to proceed if they sense danger or if they are exhausted or overburdened – unless they are beaten into submission.
Once a human has gained a donkey’s trust, a donkey is extremely loyal and a good friend.
Brother and Sister George and Charlotte
The donkey has been used by humans as a working animal for at least 5000 years.
In Europe, donkeys are still used for work. Their work here is more in the nature of tourist transportation, living toys or companion animals for other farm animals. Many of the very intelligent donkeys experience dismal and psychologically deprived lives this way.
Because of their generally low purchase cost, many donkeys end up where their owners cannot (or does not want to) take proper care of them, like proper stabling, pasture and hoofcare.
Besties Aslan and Frida, and Sapphire
Because donkeys typically have been under-fed for thousands of years, their stomachs are able to process and gain nutrition from vegetation that many other animals have great difficulty getting any nutrition from. That’s why being on grass around the clock makes donkeys overweight and sick.