6 Quick Donkey Facts that You Need to Know ASAP!

Donkey FactsHere are six quick facts about me. Use them to wow your friends…and get to know a bit more about my species at the same time.

1. A donkey and a burro are actually the same animal. The term “burro” is simply the Spanish word for donkey. (Learn how to say donkey in even more languages!)

2. Although the origin of the word donkey is unknown, it is thought to originate from the word “dun,” which would refer to the dull grey-brown color of our coats.

Donkey Facts3. All donkeys have a dorsal stripe and a shoulder stripe. (Can
spot both my stripes in this photo?)

4. “Domestic Donkeys” are relatives to the Horse, and are in the same species classification, “Equus,” as the Wild Horse Wild Ass, and the Zebra. This mammal group is characterized by long heads and necks, skinny legs, and one-toe feet. (Sounds familiar!)

Donkey Facts5. All donkeys are descendants of the African Nubian wild ass, which are near extinction.

6. The word “ass” comes from the Latin word asinus.  There are many derogatory terms using the word “ass” that link to the donkey, characterizing the animal as clumsy or stupid. However, donkeys are incredibly intelligent, sure-footed animals.  May we choose to not use these terms in our language, as they are a huge misrepresentation of the donkey population.

Have a question about donkeys? Comment below and see if I know the answer! 

Donkeys Around the World

As I mentioned, burro is the Spanish word for donkey. We have many more names, depending on where we live. Here is how you say donkey in some other languages.

Italian: asino (ah-see-noh)

French: baudet (bo-day)

Finnish: aasi (ah-see)

German: esel (ee-zel)

Czech: osel (oh-sel)

Brazilian Portugese: jumento (ju-men-to). Meet Boneco, a famous “jumento” in Brazil. Boneco is actually a beekeeping donkey, but that is a story for another time…

Photo credit: Gizmod0

Photo credit: Gizmod0

Jenny Who?

Donkey FactsDid you know that a female donkey is called a Jenny? And if you’re a female donkey in certain parts of the world (western Canada, for example) people might even call you a Jennet. The word Jennet takes root in the Spanish language (sometimes spelled “genet”) and dates back to the Middle Ages, when people used the word to refer to a small horse.

Male donkeys have two nick names: Jack and John. A Jack refers to an in-tact male donkey that is able to breed, while a John is a castrated male donkey that is unable to breed.

Pop quiz: Can you guess if I am a Jenny, Jack, or John? Comments?