Mediterranean miniature donkey

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Animal File

Common Name:
Mediterranean miniature donkey
Scientific Name:
Equus asinus
Size: Under 90 cm at shoulder
Weight: Up to 160 kg
Native to Europe

Conservation Status

Not Evaluated

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.

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Blackpool Zoo is Open!

As part of Step 2 of the national roadmap out of lockdown we are allowed to open once again.  

However, we will not be allowed to open most indoor areas: the indoor eating area of the cafe is closed, as are the indoor viewing area of animal houses including elephants, big cats, giraffes, small primates, gorillas and orangutans. These animals all have access to their outdoor enclosures, however they may take themselves inside during inclement weather.  Lemur Wood and Rainbow Landings remain closed.

A full list of restrictions and measures in place can be found here.  Please ensure you read them before you book your tickets as they are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

We really look forward to welcoming you back to Blackpool Zoo.