Donkey vs Burro – What is the difference?

Donkey and burro both are Equus asinus. So the quick answer to the question is that Burro is the Spanish word for donkeys. So that is the only confusion with a little history behind it. Most of the people are further confused in Jack ass, ass and burro. Both Donkey and burro are asses from Equus asinus. Jack ass means male ass so male donkey is jack ass which carries the load.

Donkey vs Burro – Quick Answer

Now ignore the history behind it. Donkey and burro are two words for the same animal. Donkey is used for pet or a domesticated version of Equus asinus while Burro is used for smaller wild donkeys, mostly found in the west.



It is a domestic animal from a horse family which is mostly used for carrying the load. Some donkey lovers also keep it as a pet. It is a hardworking animal and serving people in Asia and Europe. Donkey is a very cool animal but some facts tell that they are stubborn.

Ancestors of donkeys are wild African ass. According to estimation, there are more than 40 million donkeys in the world. Mostly in underdeveloped countries work as a load carrier. There are a few brands of donkeys in the world.



There is no scientific name difference between donkey and burro. However, Burro is the donkey of small size which used as peck animal. It has protection law in united states.

Actual Difference

The only real and actual difference between Burro and Donkey is their domestication status. Donkey is a domesticated animal while Burro is a small wild donkey. In languages, Burro is the Spanish word for donkeys. There is no more difference between donkey and Burro.

Other Terms for Donkeys

There are some other common terms for donkeys.


Word Ass comes from their scientific name Equus asinus. Another source included that Ass is a common term for animals which used earlier in the 20th century. Now domesticated donkeys can be an ass. Wild donkeys are called by their names.


Donkey is called ass and the male donkey is Jack. Jackass is usually a term for male donkey. A donkey which carries load and male is called Jackass.


Hinny is a hybrid horse. It is a similar combination of a male horse and female donkey. Hinny is a bit smaller than a mule. They are difficult to obtain and identify.


In the era of breeding, the mule is the best one. It is a combination breed of horse and donkey. Mule has characters of both male horse and female donkey. It has a strong run like horses and load-carrying ability like donkeys.

>>>> Read Donkey Names


Can a burro reproduce?

Burro is another term for donkeys so they can reproduce like donkeys. It is referred to as wild donkeys. Burro can reproduce but they are smaller in size as a wild animal.

Can a burro be domesticated?

Burro is a term referred to wild donkeys so you can domesticate common donkey or ass. Burro is mostly found in wild African areas or northwest.


People make a difference in Descendents of donkeys which introduced by Spanish in America. The Spanish language refers to burro term for donkeys. On the other hand donkeys from Europe termed as a donkey. That is not an actual difference in real.

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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