Mediterranean miniature donkey
Blackpool Zoo is home to a small herd of Mediterranean miniature donkeys which originate from Sardinia or Sicily, but are now very popular worldwide as pets. Their small size, under 90 cm at the shoulder, and their friendly nature make them ideal companions for all ages.
Male donkeys are known as “jacks” and females as “jennies” and they can be found in a variety of coat colours including grey, brown, black or spotted. All donkeys have a dark “cross” marking along the back and over the shoulder which is thought to represent the holy cross as Jesus rode a donkey in the Bible.
Donkeys can exist on scrubland without lush grass, but in the Zoo are fed on hay, donkey mix, carrots and apples. They are quite playful, especially the foals, but can be quite rough and often nip and bite at each other’s legs and necks. They were used as work-horses in the 18th century on their native islands and carried supplies and water as well as being harnessed to grind-stones in the grain mills.
Donkeys can live until they are 25 - 35 years old and can have a foal each year, although gestation (pregnancy) is about 12 months.