The number of donkeys in the world is believed to be around 44 million. Quite a part of this, some 11 million, are found in China. This is merely a rough estimate as the real number might be quite high.
Donkeys are used by man to bear heavy articles across distances and places. Their use as domesticated animals began in Somalia around 5,000 years ago. The trend continues even today with donkeys used to transport goods and even humans across rough terrains or even in normal situations.
Donkeys have adopted themselves to survive in tough conditions where food is a scarcity or the only available food is not of good quality. They have very good digestive systems that can extract nutrition from any kind of food that other animals find tough to digest.
Donkeys are known to be quite stubborn in nature. They refuse to budge from their places when they sense any danger or if they are overburdened. They are believed to be very loyal to their owners.
Donkeys provide excellent companionship to horses, they are often used to calm down horses in the field. Horses that get excited over some issues are known to calm down when they have a donkey for company. Donkeys are the best to use with horses used for races or shows that can get excited. They can be great help for horses recovering from surgeries or severe injuries. They protect sheep and goat from dogs and coyotes.
Donkeys are the ideal to be used when it comes to dealing with children or those crippled by a handicap. Donkeys are used as companions and friends for the handicapped in England for the physically and mentally handicapped.