How Long Do Donkeys Live (And Why)?

How Long Do Donkeys Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 25 To 30 Years

The lifespan of donkeys is known to be about a minimum of 25 years to a maximum of 30 years. But many factors determine the lifespan of donkeys. Among these many factors, the major factor that plays a vital role in determining the lifespan of donkeys is the species of donkeys. Donkeys are found in many different breeds.

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How Long Do Donkeys Live?

American Mammoth Jackstock donkey is a North American donkey breed. This breed of the donkey was bred by George Washington along with Henry Clay. The main purpose to breed American Mammoth Jackstock donkeys was to breed for an ass that could be used to produce strong work mules. The lifespan of an American Mammoth Jackstock donkey is about 30 to 40 years.

Asinara donkey is also known as Ainu, correct or moment in Sardinian. Asinara donkey is a feral donkey named so because it is indigenous to the island of Asinara. Asinara donkeys have a life expectancy ranging from a minimum of 25 years to a maximum of 30 years.

Andalusian donkey is a Spanish breed of the domestic donkey. These donkeys are native to the province of Córdoba in Andalusia. Moreover, they are also known as Asno Cordobés after the city of Córdoba. Apart from this, they are also known as the Asno de Lucena after their alleged origin in the town of Lucena, Córdoba. Andalusian donkeys have a life expectancy of around 25 to 30 years.

Miniature donkeys are a kind of Mediterranean donkey which measures no more than 36 inches and weigh between 200 to 400 pounds. These donkeys belong to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Miniature donkeys have a lifespan of 20 to 25 years on average.

Norman donkey from Normandy, in northwest France, is a domestic donkey breed. Currently, Norman donkeys are found in the Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy regions. Apart from that, Norman donkeys are also found in Brittany and the Pays de Loire. Norman donkeys have a lifespan ranging between 30 to 40 years.

Abyssinian donkey is an Ethiopian donkey breed that is native to Ethiopia, found in areas like dry and mountainous regions. Abyssinian donkeys have a lifespan of about 30 to 35 years on average.

Catalan donkey, from the historic region of Catalonia, is a breed of the large domestic donkey. Catalan donkeys are known by many other names as well, such as Ase Català, As no Catalán, Raza Asinia Catalana, and Raza Astana. The lifespan of a Catalan donkey ranges between 25 to 30 years on average.

Breeds Of DonkeyLife Expectancy
American Mammoth Jacstock Donkey30 to 40 years
Asinara Donkey25 to 30 years
Andalusian Donkey25 to 30 years
Miniature Donkey20 to 25 years
Norman Donkey30 to 40 years
Abyssinian Donkey30 to 35 years
Catalan Donkey25 to 30 years

Why Do Donkeys Live That Long?

With advancements in veterinary medicine and veterinary science, scientists found suitable conditions for donkeys to survive for a longer duration of time. Moreover, with developed and improved knowledge about appropriate donkey care, good feeding habits, and all other survival situations, the average lifespan of the donkeys can be increased from 5 years to about 10 years.

Moreover, because donkeys are not a part of the food chain at a very high level. That means, the animals which thrive upon other animals as food for their living, make donkeys their prey. So, as a result, donkeys fail to live long.

Unlike the wild donkeys, the donkeys who live under captivation can live for as long as a span of 50 years. This is so because these donkeys have no stress to survive, they don’t have to struggle for food or fight predators. Such donkeys are provided food and a good environment, they are far away from predators and thus, they have a huge lifespan of 40 to 50 years in captivity.


Donkeys are not more vulnerable to survival problems like predators and food shortages. When taken proper care, provided safe and suitable shelter, a healthy diet, and an attentive owner, donkeys can easily live up to as long as 50 years in captivity.


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