The Average Speed of Donkeys

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Among mankind's truest companions throughout history, donkeys have carried packs along narrow trails and pulled wagons much heavier than themselves. With the arrival of modern machinery to do the donkeys' historical jobs, donkeys took on a recreational role in modern countries; nowadays they're fixtures on a few farms and they do a little duty accompanying hikers or competing in speed and endurance events. Donkeys walk at the same speed as a human -- about 4 miles per hour -- but can run nearly as fast as horses.

A Donkey's Speed

According to Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest horse recorded was Winning Brew, who ran a quarter-mile at 43.97 mph. An Asiatic wild ass can gallop as fast as 43 miles per hour, but the speed of domesticated donkeys will vary according to their size, fitness and motivation, with top speed reaching about 40 miles per hour. Most donkeys will run much slower, averaging 30 to 35 miles per hour over short distances.

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A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.