During World War I John Simpson Kirkpatrick, a British stretcher bearer serving with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and Richard Alexander "Dick" Henderson of the New Zealand Medical Corps used donkeys to rescue wounded soldiers from the battlefield at Gallipoli.[46][47]

Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary is a registered charity which cares for and protects abused and ill-treated donkeys and other animals. (Although we do not actively rescue other animals, those that have joined us in recent years include a sheep, some goats, chickens, geese, ducks and a pot bellied pig called Percy.)

 "Origin of the Donkey" in Popular Science Monthly Volume 22, April 1883

Stallion: A stallion is a male donkey that has not been gelded (castrated).

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"We design all our wheels specifically to suit the journeys they will make. This ensures that you and your child will experience the smoothest ride possible as you glide up and down pavements and along bumpy roads. While excellent shock absorption, one-handed steering and a seamless 360º turn in the tightest of spaces just make life so much easier. Why walk when you can float?"

Yearling: A yearling is a young male or female donkey between one and two years of age.

In the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas, a burro is a small donkey. The Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) of the FAO lists the burro as a specific breed of ass.[63] In Mexico, the donkey population is estimated at three million.[64] There are also substantial burro populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Few species of ass exist in the wild. The African wild ass, Equus africanus, has two subspecies, the Somali wild ass, Equus africanus somaliensis, and the Nubian wild ass, Equus africanus africanus,[67] the principal ancestor of the domestic donkey.[32] Both are critically endangered.[68] Extinct species include the European ass, Equus hydruntinus, which became extinct during the Neolithic, and the North African wild ass, Equus africanus atlanticus, which became extinct in Roman times.[32]

The words "donkey" and "ass" (or translations thereof) have come to have derogatory or insulting meaning in several languages, and are generally used to mean someone who is obstinate, stupid or silly,[94][95][96][97] In football, especially in the United Kingdom, a player who is considered unskilful is often dubbed a "donkey",[94] and the term has a similar connotation in poker.[98] In the US, the slang terms "dumbass" and "jackass" are used to refer to someone considered stupid.[99][100]

Tewsday Herbert is a Relief Groom for The Donkey Sanctuary.

80p out of every £1 goes directly on donkey welfare and care

In prosperous countries, the welfare of donkeys both at home and abroad has become a concern, and a number of sanctuaries for retired and rescued donkeys have been set up. The largest is the Donkey Sanctuary of England, which also supports donkey welfare projects in Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, and Mexico.[38]

Daily from 11am to 4pm, except Christmas Day Admission is free Car parking is available. Cafe open most weekends & school holidays.

Craft Fairs, Jumble Sales and special events are as listed on our calendar (see top of page).

In China, donkey meat is considered a delicacy with some restaurants specializing in such dishes, and Guo Li Zhuang restaurants offer the genitals of donkeys in dishes. Donkey-hide gelatin is produced by soaking and stewing the hide to make a traditional Chinese medicine product.

Rig: A rig is an entire male donkey with no signs of external testicles.

Owners beware of sycamore poisoning What are the symptoms?

Although formal studies of their behaviour and cognition are rather limited, donkeys appear to be quite intelligent, cautious, friendly, playful, and eager to learn.[citation needed]

Mule: A mule is the result of breeding between a male donkey and a female horse.

Donkeys have also been used to carry explosives in conflicts that include the war in Afghanistan and others.[49][50]

Although we do not charge an entrance fee, donations are appreciated.

Achieving lasting welfare changes for donkeys and mules requires a multi-pronged approach that focuses simultaneously on healthcare... In Barabanki, Community Education is Key to Lasting Change Babloo, a mule owner who works in the brick kilns of Jaunpur district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India, seemed concerned.

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There are braying men in the world as well as braying asses; for what's loud and senseless talking and swearing, any other than braying

Make the bugaboo donkey yours by choosing colors and accessories that suit your life and style.

Jenny: A jenny (or jennet) is a term for a female donkey.

Donkey hooves are more elastic than those of horses, and do not naturally wear down as fast. Regular clipping may be required; neglect can lead to permanent damage.[5] Working donkeys may need to be shod. Donkey shoes are similar to horseshoes, but usually smaller and without toe-clips.


Many different colours, sizes and shapes of donkeys can be seen as you walk around The Donkey Sanctuary but the most noticeable is probably the difference between the resident herd and the Poitou donkeys. They originate from France and stand at 14 to 15 hands, they have a thick coat which traditionally is matted and tangled and is brown bay in colour.

At one time, the synonym ass was the more common term for the donkey. The first recorded use of donkey was in either 1784[8] or 1785.[9][10][11] While the word ass has cognates in most other Indo-European languages, donkey is an etymologically obscure word for which no credible cognate has been identified. Hypotheses on its derivation include the following:

According to British food writer Matthew Fort, donkeys were used in the Italian Army. The Mountain Fusiliers each had a donkey to carry their gear, and in extreme circumstances the animal could be eaten.[48]

Burro is the Spanish and Portuguese word for donkey. In Spanish, burros may also be called burro mexicano ('Mexican donkey'), burro criollo ('Criollo donkey'), or burro criollo mexicano. In the United States, "burro" is used as a loan word by English speakers to describe any small donkey used primarily as a pack animal, as well as to describe the feral donkeys that live in Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, Texas and Nevada.[58]

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Foal: A foal is a baby male or female donkey up to one year old.

Donkeys vary considerably in size, depending on breed and management. The height at the withers ranges from 7.3 to 15.3 hands (31 to 63 inches, 79 to 160 cm), and the weight from 80 to 480 kg (180 to 1,060 lb). Working donkeys in the poorest countries have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years;[15] in more prosperous countries, they may have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years.[5]

With the rise of Christianity, some believers came to see the cross-shaped marking present on donkeys' backs and shoulders as a symbol of the animal's bearing Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. During the Middle Ages, Europeans used hairs from this cross (or contact with a donkey) as folk remedies to treat illness, including measles and whooping cough.[78] Around 1400 AD, one physician listed riding backwards on a donkey as a cure for scorpion stings.[79]

Over 50 million donkeys and mules exist in the world, but despite this the number of pure-bred animals within each breed is generally low, with several on the verge of extinction. Thanks to tenacious work carried out by The Donkey Sanctuary we have been provided with a sound base on which to further investigate the 17 breeds of donkeys currently known in Europe.

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The bray of the donkey may be used as a simile for loud and foolish speech in political mockery.[103][104] For example,[105]