World Donkey Day: 10 Delightful Donkey Facts
Today is World Donkey Day, and what better way to celebrate them than to share a few of the things that make these intelligent, curious animals who they are?
- If you challenge a donkey to a memory game, chances are you’ll lose. These gentle animals are able to remember places they’ve been to before and recognise donkey pals they haven’t seen for 25 years.
- Donkeys are safety-conscious. If they fear a situation might be dangerous, they do their very best to stay away from it. This is often mistaken for stubbornness when, really, they’re just careful and cautious.
- Like humans and our fellow primates, donkeys love to clean and groom each other. These herd animals are all about looking good.
- They are nothing if not hygienic and refuse to drink water if they deem it too dirty.
- Donkeys like to be in dry, warm places. Their natural habitats are deserts and savannahs.
- If someone they love is moved or taken away from them, they become extremely upset. They’re social animals who get lonely when they’re by themselves because of the deep bonds they form with their friends and family.
- The world is home to over 44 million donkeys, and they come in all shapes and sizes – there are over 186 breeds of donkey!
- Donkeys have big ears so they can hear each other from long distances. They communicate by braying, grunting, squealing, whiffling, snorting, and even growling.
- In their desert homes, they dig their hooves into the ground to access water, in turn providing birds, chipmunks, and other small animals with life-saving hydration.
- Right now, millions of donkeys are being exploited or killed around the world, but you can help stop this! Choose to avoid products and tourist traps they’re harmed for – and take action for them by calling for change.
What You Can Do for Donkeys
On the Greek island of Santorini, donkeys and mules are used to haul tourists up 500 steep steps. And when not being exploited for tourism, they’re still forced to work – they’re made to carry heavy loads, given practically no respite from the hot Mediterranean sun, and often denied access to water.
Please, never ever ride a donkey, a mule, or any other animal, and call on the Greek minister of tourism and the mayor of Santorini to ban the cruel rides:
Donkeys are also suffering intensely in China, where they’re being slaughtered so that their skins can be boiled down to make gelatine for ejiao, a traditional Chinese medicine.
Please send a message to Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador, asking him to use his influence to stop the slaughter of donkeys in China.