First Donkey Twitter Space in History – World Donkey Day 8 May 2022


Donkey is multipurpose livestock, being used for ages for work, food, recreation, hobby, sports, and other purposes but still, the very important role of this unique creature is hiding from the eyes of the majority of the people, that is its’ ecological role.

The Ecological Role of the donkey

The donkey consumes the woody vegetation of bushes, shrubs, and trees. They can consume and digest the dried and fallen parts of the flora in the dry season with the help of the strong and diverse gut microbiome. This specialized microbiome along with the nutrients rich manure makes a way to transfer to the soil through manure and helps in the enrichment of the soil and sustain the life of the soil microbiome. The soil microbiome provides nutrients to the rhizosphere of the plants and gives them the power to sustain and tolerate the droughts and high temperatures. This way, we have rich and fertile soil today. Though all herbivores play an important ecological role in ecosystem management the donkey is topping all.

We celebrated world donkey day on Twitter space

Though not many participants still there was a reasonable number of people. The main interest in donkeys was shown in Africa. Mitchell Mutumba, a Namibian farmer told that they use the donkey for the farm animals’ protection. The donkey if trained will never allow the predators to enter the farm. That is really a very new a strange fact for me. We started twitter space on 7th May and entered on 8th May during the space. A Kenyan colleague (twitter name; Son of Africa) told his camel story from Kenya and told that he has seen many carcasses of donkeys without skins. Some people kill donkeys for their skins as there is a demand for donkey skins. He told that the donkey is still a very important working animal in his country. The South African innovative farmer Gugulethu Mahlangu, a famous farmer, and journalist told that the donkey’s future as a working farm animal is minimized manifold in her country because of the use of modern technology. Some other participants made jokes about donkeys, which was very painful to me.

Dr.Yatuwa Jude, the District Veterinary Officer KWEEN district Eastern Uganda shared some information about the donkey in Uganda and shared very beautiful pictures of the donkey from his country.

Read the very important material about the world donkey day

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-donkey-day/

https://arkbiodiv.com/2021/05/08/the-story-of-world-donkey-day/amp/

World Donkey Day is the brainchild of Dr. Raziq Kakar


World Donkey Day is the brainchild of Raziq, a scientist whose interests primarily concern desert animals. Around ten years ago, he noticed that nobody was celebrating the humble donkey for its efforts in helping people all over the world improve their quality of life. In recognition of all this hard work, he set up a Facebook group, chronicling the trials and tribulations of the species all over the world. https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-donkey-day/

8th May, the World Donkey Day


Today is 8th May 2021, very happy seeing the interest of the people from around the world in our very lovely animal, the poor donkey. I have gone through many articles and twitter and facebook posts. There are posts on the other social media outlets.

I’m very proud of my success, initiation of the world donkey day. I brainstormed this idea to highlight the issues of the poor donkey. The people are busy with their big ideas and we have almost forgotten the role of the creatures like donkey. I initiated this day in 2010 with the great support of Peta Jones, South Africa.https://medium.com/@raziqarkbiodiversity/8-may-world-donkey-day-peta-jones-camel-food-security-and-climate-change-on-wordpress-com-726afc87fbb5

Donkey had materialized the human livelihood and survival for hundred of years in all kind of transports and even in the food system as some communities used to eat donkey flash. Also, some communities still using donkey milk for the treatment of complicated health ailments.

Donkey is still very important animal, both as a working equid and part and parcel of various cultures in Asia, Africa, South America and others. The hobbyists in the western world are keeping donkeys and praised it as the most obedient and intelligent animal. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-08/owners-celebrate-beloved-companions-on-world-donkey-day/100123414

we have a facebook page on world donkey day. https://www.facebook.com/WorldDonkeyDay , Many activities and articles are now circulating on social media about the importance of this beautiful but neglected animal. One of the important is the current blog by Albina on radio Bulgaria https://bnr.bg/en/post/101464002/donkey-stories

My Interest in Donkey and the World Donkey Day Story

While I was walking and working with the camels for my doctoral research in Northeastern Belochistan in Pakistan, I realized that the donkey is an even more important player both as working animal and resilient to the drought and feed/water scarcity. As soon as I completed my Ph.D. task, I took my luggage and started my donkey love exploration. I wrote some general articles, found different types and communities of donkey keepers. Besides the crucial and pivotal role of donkey, very little attention has been given to this poor creature. I communicated with many people at the global level who had an interest in donkeys. I found a kind soul “Peta Jones” from South Africa who is in real love with Donkey. I asked her to support my cause/suggestion for world donkey day. She supported me and suggested May 8 as World Donkey Day, because it is the week after the World Labor Day and the donkey is the most important labor in the world, is it not? https://arkbiodiv.com/2012/05/03/world-donkey-day-may-8/

Donkey is Poor’s people BMW

Donkey is a Unique Biological Machine for Work (BMW), highly adapted, a specialized creature but is still hiding from the eyes of the policy makers and highly neglected at all levels. For more than 6000 years DONKEYShave been carrying and pulling loads, turning wheels and generally laboring away to extend the work of humans. Not only a working equid but equally playing a pivotal role in religious rituals, recreations, heritages and as a companion animal. Donkey kingdom is facing panic problems, ranging from the ill treatment, poor welfare to sick behavior of some societies towards the donkey.

Pakistan is the Second Largest Country with the Donkey Population

The population of asses, also known as donkeys, has increased to 5.5m. The population of asses has also been steady as there were 5.3m of them in 2017-18 and 5.4m in 2018-19. So, Pakistan has almost 5.5 million asses. The donkey is still very useful working animal both in rural and urban areas. There are some donkey fairs/festivals in the country. There is one very famous donkey cart race in Karachi each year, in layari area. The automobile/chiqchi rickshaw and Zaranj have replaced donkey for work to some extent. https://arkbiodiv.com/2012/05/03/donkey-breeds-of-north-eastern-balochistan-pakhtoonkhua-and-southern-afghanistan/

Donkey is very valuable and useful animal throughout the world. Donkey is playing pivotal role in the livelihood earning of the millions of people in Pakistan. In Pakistan, many pastoral communities keep donkey for breeding. They have unique, vigorous and highly adapted donkey breeds like Shingharri and Sperki. In the month of October they bring the donkey for sale to the Mangrota Fair. Shingharri donkey in the photo gets high prices and usually bought by the donkey carters in the cities and towns.https://arkbiodiv.com/2012/05/04/donkey-marketing-in-mangrota-fair-of-pakistan/

Conclusion

Donkey has a wide diversity of genetic treasure. It is still important animal in different parts of the world. Both the atomization and skin trade are the 2 main hazards to the assess genetic resources. The poor donkey has very little attention from their human masters. They are treated very badly and abusively. The time has come to raise voice for this poor creature and spread awareness about the importance of this kind soul. I have initiated the world donkey day, support me in this cause please. http://arkbiodiv.com

World Donkey Day (May 8)


The donkey is a very useful, important, and precious animal genetic resource for food and agriculture. Donkey plays a pivotal role in the livelihood earning of millions of people around the world. Donkey is widely used for pastoral movement, carting, agricultural operations, and recreation purposes. There is wide intra and in-breed diversity. Such diversity is based on habitat, purpose, selection, etc. Donkey is well adapted to all climatic conditions and ecosystems. It ranges from the cold temperate region, cold deserts, dry and hot deserts, plain lands, high Alps, and coastal ecosystems of the globe.

A beautiful Shingharri donkey in Mangrota festival Pakistan.

In some countries, the products, especially milk and meat of donkeys are also used. Milk is used as medicine among pastoral communities for the treatment of respiratory diseases for a long time. The meat products are used in many countries of the world and Salami is the famous dish of donkey meat.

With Ecofarming activist in Frankfurt Germany

Donkey is now introduced in many EU countries as an ecosystem service to help in the flora biodiversity in the forest. One of the best examples is in Germany, where blackberry increased manifolds as a weed in the forests of pines and ceased the germination of the new pine plants. The donkey was introduced in the forest to control blackberry and the results are now very visible in such places. Such services donkey can be the options hope for its conservation in Western Europe and other countries of the world. In Germany, grazing with livestock is the most commonly used strategy for maintaining the landscape and for conserving rare plants, as well as certain bird species on the Red List. Federal and state governments, as well as local municipalities, pay livestock keepers for these services, usually by the number of animal grazing days. Depending on the type of habitat to be maintained, different species, including donkeys, cattle, and sheep are used most frequently. 

The automobile revolution and other social changes affected the historical importance of the donkey. The scientists and communities are looking for different and various options to keep donkeys as a hope. There are many success stories in this regard, the landscape management is one of the important ones. Also, in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, the Shingharri donkey is used for the mining industry of chromite. The donkey is well praised for its power, obedience, and good learning attitude by the mining industry.

Unfortunately, donkeys never enjoyed due importance among the policymakers of the national governments and international organizations. In some countries talking about donkey issues is a sort of taboo. The western-educated vets. even sometimes hesitate to talk about donkeys and do not work on donkey issues.

Donkey welfare is the challenge of the modern era. Among the carters of donkeys, beating, punishment, poor feeding, and hard conditions are very common. I hereby appreciate the efforts of Brooke international for halting cruelty to donkeys. The author is the head of the SAVES, introduced world donkey day to stimulate awareness of the donkey issues and to help in halting cruelty. I appeal to the world people to arrange activities on this day and create awareness in this regard.