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Mammal. The smallest member of the horse family, the donkey was first domesticated about six thousand years ago. Donkeys can perform the same gaits as horses, but generally don't gallop. They can run up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) per hour. They have much longer ears than horses, and a "broomtail" similar to a cow's tail. They make excellent guard animals and will discourage canine attacks on a herd of cattle or sheep. Male donkeys bray (the characteristic “Aw-EE, Aw-EE” sound) and enjoy “sounding off” at any opportunity. Breeding a male donkey and a female horse produces a mule.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Equus asinus 20-25 years, 40 in captivity
Herbivore. Grasses, alfalfa, shrubs, and desert plants.
Predators and Threats
Northern Africa and Lower Egypt desert, but domesticated and non-domesticated donkeys are found worldwide.