A fun fact about donkeys and their counterparts (mules and hinnies) is they can kick in ANY direction with ANY foot at ANY time… I stress the ANY three times because donkeys are extremely well coordinated on their feet and are able to do things a horse can’t. Let’s take a second to address the most identifiable feature on a donkey … it’s ears. It is practically impossible to sneak up on a donkey, their large radar-like swiveling ears pick up the tiniest noise and turn to pin-point the direction it came from. However there is another use for those big ears and that is a built in cooling system, helping to keep them from over heating in the hot natural habitat they call home. The most important thing to remember about donkeys is that they always have a reason for the behaviour they are showing. In the donkeys view, the behaviour they are showing is always justified! They are naturally very inquisitive and intelligent animals but can also be very fearful and dangerous if handled incorrectly or placed in inappropriate situations. They are very stoic animals in their nature and often will not show the behaviour you would normally see with other equines. Donkeys rarely show pain responses and this response is thought to be associated with a predator avoidance strategy. Any donkey that is displaying pain is likely to be a lot sicker than if a horse was displaying the same signs – a sick donkey is always an emergency! Therefore donkeys will sometimes respond by showing defensive or territorial behaviours either towards the owner or other animals. Donkeys are very capable of learning rapidly – both desirable and non-desirable behaviours. They are also very clever at finding behaviours that are effective so understanding your donkeys behaviour to see subtle changes is very important. Due to donkeys high level of intelligence they do not like putting themselves in a situation they see as dangerous so will refuse to do something they think may cause themselves harm.
Lovely Long Ears
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