DonkeyFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia(Redirected from Donkeys)For other uses, see Donkey (disambiguation).
It has been suggested that burro be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since February 2012.
It has been suggested that Jenny (donkey) be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since February 2012.
E. a. asinus
Equus africanus asinus Linnaeus, 1758
The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus,  is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African wild ass, E. africanus. The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally as draught or pack animals. Working donkeys are often associated with those living at or below subsistence levels. Small numbers of donkeys are kept for breeding or as pets in developed countries.A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female a jenny or jennet;   a young donkey is a foal. Jack donkeys are often used to produce mules.Asses were first domesticated around 3000 BC, probably in Egypt or Mesopotamia,  and have spread around the world. They continue to fill important roles in many places today. While domesticated species are increasing in numbers, the African wild ass and another relative, the onager, are endangered. As beasts of burden and companions, asses and donkeys have worked together with humans for millennia.Contents[hide]1 Scientific and common names2 Characteristics2.1 Breeding2.2 Behaviour3 History4 Present status5 Uses5.1 Economic use5.2 In warfare6 Care6.1 Shoeing6.2 Nutrition7 Feral donkeys and wild asses7.1 Wild asses, onagers, and kiangs8 Donkey hybrids9 Cultural references9.1 Religion, myth and folklore9.2 Literature and film9.3 Colloquialisms, proverbs and insults9.4 Politics10 See also11 References12 External linksScientific and common namesTraditionally, the scientific name for the donkey is Equus asinus asinus based on the principle of priority used for scientific names of animals. However, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature ruled in 2003 that if the domestic species and the wild species are considered subspecies of each other, the scientific name of the wild species has priority, even when that subspecies was described after the domestic subspecies. This means that the proper scientific name for the donkey is Equus africanus asinuswhen it is considered a subspecies, and Equus asinus when it is considered a species.At one time, the synonym ass was the more common term for the donkey. The first recorded use of donkey was in either 1784or 1785. ...