Beginning in Old Testament days, ownership of many donkeys was a sign of God’s blessing. The Bible often specifies whether a person rode a donkey, because this was an indication of wealth much in the same way a luxury car might be today.
Scriptural tradition has Mary riding a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth. Legend has it that the cross on the donkey’s shoulders comes from the shadow of the cross at Christ’s Crucifixion, placing the donkey at the foot of the cross.
Donkeys are the smallest members of the horse family.
A male donkey is sometimes called “jack” and a female a “jenny”.
There are three categories of size for donkeys: miniature, standard and mammoth.Their height is measured in inches at the shoulder. Miniature is 36 inches, standard up to 54 inches and mammoth over 54 inches.
Donkeys can live for 25 to 35 years.
Coloring ranges from light grey to chocolate brown.
Donkeys eat many types of grass and sometimes fruit.
Donkeys were first domesticated in Africa around 3000 B.C. They quickly became known as “beasts of burden” because of their ability to carry 20-30% of their own body weight. They were then used all around Asia Minor for riding, pulling carts, threshing and milling.
Their long ears enable them to hear for long distances, perhaps as much as three miles. The length of the ears may also help keep their bodies cool in hot desert terrain.
The donkey’s reputation for being stubborn comes from an inborn sense of self protection. If a donkey feels in any way threatened, he will not move.
Donkeys are intelligent, playful and social animals. Without companionship, be it other animals or humans, they can become very depressed.
Donkeys were first brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus.
The first donkeys born in the United States were owned by George Washington.
This information and more can be found in Wikipedia.