When preparing for today’s Kentucky pictures of the day, I did a little research. I wasn’t sure whether to call these beauties donkeys, mules, jackasses, horse donkeys (is there even such a thing?) or something entirely different. As a card-carrying animal lover extraordinaire, I hate to admit that I was completely clueless about the distinctions between these animals. Before labeling the pictures, I wanted to at least know what term to use. The last thing I want to do is offend an innocent animal. They can be very sensitive, you know.
As it turns out, I learned a lot about these gorgeous animals:
- A male donkey is called a “Jack” – so all jackasses are male….. so to speak 😉
- Burro is the Spanish and Portuguese word for donkey. In the Southwestern United States, burro is used to describe any small donkey used primarily as a pack animal, as well as to describe the feral donkeys that live in Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, Kansas, and Nevada.
- A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare)
- A hinny is the product of a female donkey (jenny) and a male horse (stallion)
- Most mules are sterile.
- Donkeys and mules are more intelligent and less-stubborn than they’re normally depicted in literature, tv, movies, etc.
I’ve (obviously) gone with the term “donkey,” simply because it seems to be the universal word for all of these animals. These guys (gals?) just seem to be taller than most donkeys I’ve seen.
At any rate, they’re absolutely gorgeous and I could have spent all day watching and photographing them. To be perfectly honest, I wanted to bring them all home with me but I’m pretty sure their owners (not to mention my cats!) wouldn’t have been very happy with that call.
Click on any of the following pictures for a larger view.
If you’re an expert on these animals or know more about them than I do (which wouldn’t take a lot!), please share your knowledge with us in the comments.
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