Donkeys, Equus africanus asinus, are the domesticated descendants of a wild African horse and are a different species from the domestic horse. Domestication of donkeys took place in northeastern Africa in about 4000 B.C. Domesticated donkeys nowadays tend to live longer than their wild counterparts, living for up to 50 years. First domesticated as work animals, they are still used as such in some parts of the world. In addition to being used as work animals, donkeys have been subjected to roles as guard dog replacements, herding animals, and transportation. Other names for a Donkey are Ass (or Jackass) and Burro.

In the Barron Park pasture, our donkeys serve only the purpose of bringing visitors a new perspective and brightening their days. Surely, Perry and Jenny are glad they aren’t being used to trek long distances with heavy loads on their backs.

There are about 70 breeds of donkeys, which differ in size, color, and hair length. Our donkeys are called Jerusalem donkeys so-named because of the dark cross on their shoulders and back (with reference to Jesus riding a donkey to the crucifixion).

A male donkey is a “John,” a gelded male donkey is a “Jack,” and a female donkey is a “Jennet” but are often called “Jenny.”

In addition to donkey breeds, donkey and horse interbreeding has resulted in the formation of mules (horse father, donkey mother) and hinnies (donkey mother, horse father).


Barron Park Donkeys

Miner 49-er (Niner) – Died 09/16           Pericles (Perry) – Arrived 1997                 Jenny – Newest arrival, 11/2016