The short, smooth coat is a light grey to fawn colour, fading quickly to white on
the undersides and legs. There is a slender, dark dorsal stripe in all subspecies,
while in the
Nubian wild ass (Equus asinus africanus), as well as the domestic donkey, there is
a stripe across the shoulder. On the nape of the neck there is a stiff, upright mane,
the hairs ofwhich are tipped with black. The ears are large with black margins. The
tail terminates with a black brush. The hooves are slender, approximately the diameter
of the legs. When a foal is born it already has al its molars. The upper and lower
front teeth appear within 7 days after its birth.
Donkeys on Bonaire are primarily active in the cooler hours between late afternoon
and early morning, seeking shade and shelter amongst the scrub during the day. Swift
and sure-footed in their rough, rocky habitat, the donkey can travel as fast as 50
kmph / 30 mph. Donkeys live in herds from up to 20 donkeys that generally exist out
of one stallion and 7 to 8 mares. Mature stallions defend large territories around
23 square kilometers in size, marking them with dung heaps - an essential marker
in the flat, monotonous terrain.
Due to the size of these ranges, the dominant male cannot exclude other males. Rather,
intruders are tolerated - recognized and treated as subordinates, and kept as far
away as possible from any of the resident females. In the presence of estrous females
the stallions bray loudly.
Despite being primarily adapted for living in an arid climate, wild asses are dependent
on water, and when not receiving the needed moisture from vegetation they must drink
at least once every three days. However, they can survive on a surprisingly small
amount of liquid, and have been known to drink salty or brackish water.
One interesting behavior we have noted on Bonaire, is that dogs correctly fear donkeys.
One way locals protect their ranch animals is to also have several donkeys to keep
any stray dogs away.
General Information on the Donkey Equus Asinus (Latin)
Ezel (Dutch) Buriku (Papiamentu)
Young per birth:
Life cycle weaning:
200 cm / 6.6 ft. 125-145 cm / 4.2-5.5 ft. 42 cm / 17 in. 175 kg - 250 kg