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DONKEY IN DUBLIN ZOO

Image by infomatique
Most wild donkeys are between 102 cm (10 hands) and 142 cm (14 hands) in height. Domestic donkeys stand under 91 cm ( 9 hands) to over 142 cm (over 14 hands) tall. The Andalucian-Cordobesan breed of southern Spain can reach up to 16 hands high. Donkeys are adapted to marginal desert lands, and have many traits that are unique to the species as a result. They need less food than horses. Overfed donkeys can suffer from a disease called Laminitis. Unlike horses, donkey fur is not waterproof, and so must have shelter especially when it rains. Wild donkeys live separated from each other, unlike tight wild horse herds. Donkeys have developed very loud voices, which can be heard for over three kilometres, to keep in contact with other donkeys of their herd over the wide spaces of the desert. Donkeys have larger ears than horses to hear the distant calls of fellow donkeys, and to help cool the donkey’s blood. Donkeys’ tough digestive system can break down inedible vegetation and extract moisture from food more efficiently. Donkeys can defend themselves with a powerful kick of their hind legs.

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