Donkeys are large, hoofed mammals that live in family groups on grasslands. Also called asses, these pack animals eat grasses, shrubs, and other desert plants; they are nomadic herbivores. Donkeys live for about 30 to 50 years in captivity, and about 10 to 25 years in the wild. They have a loud, distinctive braying voice that sounds like "hee-haw."
Names: An adult female donkey is called a jenny or jennet, the adult male is called a jack. A jack foal is a young male and a jennet foal is a young female. The donkey is closely related to the zebra and the horse. Mules and hinnies (usually infertile) are the offspring of donkeys and horses.
Anatomy: Donkeys have tough hooves on their feet; they are tougher than horse hooves and do not need to be shod (fitted with shoes). The hooves and teeth continue to grow throughout the donkey's life. Donkeys have long, coarse fur. The donkey's brain, eyes, and ears are larger than those of horses. Donkeys range in size from 38 to 63 inches (97-160 cm) tall at the shoulder.