History of the Sicilian Donkey
The ancestors of the modern donkey come from the Nubian and Somalian species in Africa. Domesticated in 4000 BC, the donkey was an important pack animal for the Egyptian and Nubian people. By 1800 BC, the donkey had reached the Middle East and Mediterranian Region.
Miniature donkeys are native to the Mediterranian islands of Sicily and Sardinia, hence the often referred to name of Sicilian Donkey or Miniature Mediterranean Donkey.
In the early 20th Century, donkey were being used less as working animals in the United States and other wealthier nations. Instead, the donkey became more of a pet. The appearance of the Sicilian Donkey in the United States was in 1929, imported by Rober Green, a lifetime advocate of the miniature donkey breed. With the Sicilian Donkey's gentle disposition, many families keep them as pets and companians for their children.
Sicilian Donkeys are a herd animal, and do not fare well by themselves. Most families that own a Sicilian Donkey, or families looking to purchase a Sicilian Donkey, need or have a second Sicilian Donkey or like animal as a life-long companion.
The Sicilian Donkey's common colors include gray, black, brown, chestnut, white or spotted. Additionally, Sicilian Donkey's traditionally have what is known as the "Donky's Cross," a marking along their back that starts at the base of their neck.
The Sicilian Donkey is listed as a "Watch" species by the American Livestock Breed Conservancy due to its less than 10,000 global population.