The domesticated donkey is believed to be the descendent of the wild ass, Equss africanus. Better known as the Somali and Nubian wild asses. They originated in northeastern Africa during the predynastic period of Egypt, about 6,000 years ago.
Recent studies are now suggesting only the Nubian ass contributed genetically to the domestic donkey. However, there isn’t enough research to rule out the possibility that other races may have also contributed to the gene-pool.
The Roman Army was responsible for the movement of donkeys into Northern Europe where they were used in agriculture and as pack animals. Donkeys came to England with the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43.
The Nubian wild ass may be extinct in the wild, and the Somali wild ass is at critical risk.
There are an estimated 59 million donkeys and mules in the world, many of them to be found in developing countries.
In the 1500s, the Spanish brought domesticated African wild asses to the southwestern U.S. These animals’ descendants still roam the Southwest today, we know them as burros.
amy elizabeth, TBN Ranch