Dear donkey lovers and friends,
Please do not forget that donkeys are not horses! One of the most profound differences between donkeys and horses is donkeys are extremely stoic and do not express fear, pain, agitation, anger or depression overtly.
We have seen donkeys standing off alone, appearing to rest, later to discover they were deathly ill. We have seen donkeys scared to death standing completely still, not moving, riveted in fear. We have observed donkeys being abused by humans without running away or fighting back.
On one hand this attribute of donkey personality is a plus, they make great trail and pack animals because they are not prone to moods, aggression and flight behavior. They would rather freeze, think about a situation and then move forward cautiously. But this same reflective, stoic behavior can be misunderstood.
Donkeys feel deeply. Donkeys feel the same pain, hurt, betrayal, fear, anger and depression that all living beings experience. They just respond and react differently. Please know the warning signs of a donkey that could be in physical or emotional distress:
1. They are standing alone outside the herd. Donkeys are not loners, they are herd animals!
2. They are lying down frequently or for long periods of time. Donkeys rarely roll or thrash about when in pain.
3. They are off food, even for one meal.
4. They are walking slowly, tenderly, leery of striding out.
5. Their eyes are sullen, depressed and their ears are down.
6. They have lost interest, enthusiasm for food, you or their friends/partners.
7. They are frozen and will not move when asked. This can be misunderstood to be stubbornness, but it is frequently fear of their environment, circumstance or mistrust for the person who is leading them or in charge of their welfare.
8. If you notice a human mistreating or abusing a donkey you will likely notice the donkey BEARING the pain and humiliation. Please intervene if possible!
Please observe your donkey/donkeys everyday for any of these signs. Only YOU truly know your donkey. Any change in behavior should be a red flag!
GOD Bless You And Your Family Two And Four-Legged!