Happy World Donkey Day, everyone! We love our long-eared friends and are happy to have any occasion for spoiling them even more than usual. However, the day was also created as an important means of raising awareness to the often unrecognized plight of many working donkeys world wide.
Donkeys have been used as working animals for the past 5,000 years. Throughout the history of humanity donkeys have worked alongside people, even serving as valuable pack animals on the battlefield during World War I and in present time Afghanistan.
Today, the majority are found in the most underdeveloped countries, where they are still used in agriculture, as pack animals or for transportation. Although donkeys play such a vital role they are often neglected and severely overworked, as it can be simpler to buy a new donkey then to care for an older or ailing one. Organizations and rescues are dedicated to creating refuges and to helping donkeys in need, but the grim fact remains that many donkeys in the world today are living and working in dire conditions.
Happily, a growing number of donkeys are now finding their way to families and farms as beloved pets, and companions for riding, light farm work and therapeutic programs. Some are even used as ‘watchdogs’ where their protective nature can be a valuable asset on a busy farm.
Although they have a notorious reputation for being stubborn, donkeys are highly intelligent and simply have a great sense for self-preservation. Once they have trust in their human partners, a donkey’s natural loyalty, friendly attitude and unflappable nature make them a beloved addition to any family or farm. Go hug your donkey, and happy World Donkey Day to all!
Check out our tribute to the loyal Donkeys of HWH on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7arICksn24