Domestic Donkey

Scientific Name: Equus africanus asinus

Habitat: While wild donkeys are found in the deserts of northern Africa, domestic donkeys can be found all around the world.

Diet: Donkey’s typically eat barley, straw, and oats.

Size: 2.6 to 5.2 feet high / 4.8 to 6.3 feet long

Weight: 400 to 500 pounds

Lifespan: 25 to 30 years in the wild. Up to 40 years in human care.

Conservation Status:


About Donkeys:

Donkeys were first domesticated around 3000 BCE in the Middle East, but have since spread all around the world. In some areas such as Sardinia in Italy and California in the United States, Donkeys have become feral and have earned a protected status. Feral Donkeys can be problematic in areas where equine are not native because their invasive nature can disrupt local environments. In 2006, it was reported that there were approximately 41 million donkeys worldwide.

Did You Know?!

  • Donkeys are very versatile as domestic animals and can be kept as pets and/or be used for a multitude of tasks including carrying cargo, leading carts, guiding hikes on rough terrain, and guarding and herding livestock.
  • Donkeys are incredibly smart! They can be taught a wide range of commands, are excellent problem solvers, and can even recognize animals, people, and landmarks that they haven’t seen in years.
  • Like many desert animals, donkeys have large ears which help to regulate their temperature. This is very useful in keeping them cool on hot days.
  • A male donkey is called a Jack while a female donkey is called a Jenny.

The Utica Zoo will be closed at 1:00pm on 6/1 for wine in the wilderness and will reopen with normal hours on 6/2!