Did you know that 8th May is World Donkey Day? Well, now you do! And with donkeys being some of the best loved animals living in Devon today, we thought we’d spend some time celebrating with these donkey facts! How many of these things did you already know?

  • Donkeys have a great memory, they can even recognise places they’ve been before after many years and can recognise other donkeys, even if they haven’t seen them for decades.
  • Donkeys aren’t that stubborn, contrary to popular belief, donkeys aren’t actually that stubborn, they are just very cautious and wary, so if they think there might be a threat, they will refuse to engage with it.
  • Donkeys love to be clean and spend a lot of time grooming and preening themselves and each other. Similarly, they won’t drink water that they think is dirty.
  • Much like how they can remember other donkeys they haven’t seen in years, donkeys will mourn the loss of a friend and develop deep bonds with other donkeys and humans.
  • Donkeys are happiest in warm, dry places and their natural habitats are deserts and similar places.
  • Did you know there are over 180 different breeds of donkey?
  • Donkeys can dig – in the wild, they dig their hooves into the ground to access water and are hugely valuable to other animals living in that environment – they benefit from the digging too!
  • Donkeys can hear each other from over long distances, that’s why their ears are so big! They communicate with each other by braying, grunting, squealing, whiffling, snorting and growling.

Don’t forget, you can meet some of Devon’s donkeys by visiting Clovelly in North Devon and Sidmouth in East Devon.

In Clovelly, the narrow streets aren’t suitable for cars, so deliveries were always traditionally made via donkey! Today, the donkeys that live in Clovelly are all rescues and live in stables at the top of the village, where you’re welcome to go visit them and take photos.

Elsewhere in Devon, there is the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. Free to visit, the Donkey Sanctuary is always worth a visit if you’re in the area, there is always additional activities and themed fun going on throughout the year to make every visit different.

Fancy celebrating World Donkey Day with Devon’s donkeys? Find out more and plan your visit below.


Clovelly, North Devon.  Welcome to a different world! The picturesque, ancient, fishing village of Clovelly is uniquely special and was once owned by the Queen of England.  From Elizabethan days until today, Clovelly has been in…

The Donkey Sanctuary

No trip to Devon is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary. There’s a tranquil corner of the Jurassic Coast near Sidmouth that hundreds of rescue donkeys call home, and they’re all waiting to meet you. The resident…