( also ‘moke’ in informal British English; plural: ‘donkeys‘)


a kind of animal – mammal – related to horses and zebra – domesticated ‘wild ass’; four legged with tough round hooves on the feet, grass-eating, with large head, long up-right ears; grows to 3-5 feet tall at the shoulder, and weighs 100 to 200 Kg. (?); mostly slate gray colour short rough coat (hair); feeds on (eats) grass, bushy plants and some tree leaves; lives for 30-50 years of age; (because they are domesticated and bred for different purposes, there is no single or complete list of breeds); found all over the world

donkey's large ears

donkey’s large ears

male ~~ jack/jackass

female ~~ jenny

baby ~~ foal (in general) – colt (male baby) , filly (female baby) (little grown up male) jack foal; (little grown up female) jennet foal

group ~~ herd

voice ~~ bray/ hee-haw

movement ~~ trot

Some common types of donkey breeds are: standard donkey, miniature donkey, mammoth donkey, Poitou, Mexican Catalonian donkey, burro
Special Features:

a good beast of burden

a good beast of burden

The donkey is the party symbol of the Democratic Party (political) in the USA.

The ‘Catalan donkey’ is the national animals of Catalonia, an autonomous community in Spain.

A donkey is a hard-working animal. It is easy to maintain a donkey because it is sturdy and lives on sparse food source.  It is one of the best ‘beasts of burden’.

Donkeys have been working with people for about 6000 years – used for transportation, riding, carrying loads, pulling carts and tilling the fields; and donkeys can be kept on farms to guard livestock – goats, sheep, cattle!

Donkeys are kept as pets, too.

Shrek with his donkey (the movie Shrek)

Shrek with his donkey (the movie Shrek)

Though, in the present society, the donkey has long been the symbol of stupidity, stubbornness and ignorance, recent scientific studies reveal that ‘donkeys’ show much willingness to learn and they are cooperative; and their stubbornness is nothing but a greater degree of their “self-preservation”!

The donkey has a respectable place in the ancient scriptures, in fables (= moral stories using animals as real characters), and other religious and literary epics; and even more recently in story books, comics, radio & TV shows, and in some of the multi-million dollar animated films!!

Note: A ‘mule’ is a cross breed between a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare), and ‘hinny’ is a cross breed between a male horse (stallion) and a female donkey (jenny).  Mules and hinnies are sterile – cannot give birth to babies.
About the Author:BC Kumar

BC Kumar, an English Language Teacher, taught in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Oman and India, shares his knowledge and passion for the English Language. Disclaimer: This is a free educational website and all content has been compiled by the author. All copyrights to images and videos belong to their respective owners.

Comments are closed.