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The Andalusian donkey , Spanish: Asno Andaluz, is a breed of domestic donkey native to the province of Córdoba in Andalusia, Spain. It is also known as the Asno Cordobés ("Cordovan donkey") after the city of Córdoba or the Asno de Lucena ("Lucena donkey") because of its alleged origin in the town of Lucena, Córdoba. It is considered the oldest of the European breeds, at some 3,000 years, and today is rare.

Characteristics

It is a large breed in which males may reach 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) in height at the withers, and females 1.5 metres (4.9 ft). Its head is medium-sized, and sub-convex in profile; the neck is muscular. The Andalusian donkey is of medium length, with high withers. Unlike other breeds of Spain, the coat is short, including that on the ears, and soft to the touch; it is pale grey, sometimes almost white. The Andalusian donkey is strong and sturdy, yet docile and calm. Given its origin in a semi-arid environment, it is well adapted to heat and lack of water.

Status

The current state of Andalusian breed is critical. At the end of 2013 the total population was reported at 749, of which almost all were in Andalucia. Conservation plans include sparing use as work animal in the field and the forest (work which can also be done by horses), and use in rural tourism initiatives that have been followed in some places like Mijas (Málaga).

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