International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros – Are Donkeys and Burros The Same Thing?

July 13, 2021 , In: Education , With: No Comments

Last year I heard about this issue which Texas was having with burros. The word from a friend of mine was that these burros were escaping from ranches or being let go, and then they were heading north of Mexico and into the lands of Texas. The issue which these burros are causing is that they are messing up eco-systems in the state, which is killing off flora and fauna which is actually protected by state law. I felt that this was something I should help with, and so I found the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. This is an organization which helps with this issue, and helps to clear the burros out of the state.

Now donating to the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros was one thing, but I quickly learned something that I never knew, and that is the difference between burros and donkeys. As it turns out, these are very different, and here is exactly why.

Physically Speaking

The first point to make here is that in terms of the animal itself, the way it looks, the height it has, the color of its hide, the shape of its hooves and the size of its teeth, a burro and a donkey are exactly the same. In fact there is no difference whatsoever in the physical makeup of a burro and a donkey, and even the world’s most trained eye probably couldn’t tell much of a difference between the two creatures.

A Case of Language

Now to any of you out there who may be able to speak a little bit of Spanish, you will know that the word burro actually means donkey in English, and this is where little bit of confusion starts to come in. What we have done here in the US however is to take the word for donkey in Spanish, and use it within our own language to differentiate between what a burro is, and what a donkey is, which as we have just laid out, is the exact same animal, following?

The Core Difference

The fundamental difference here that when we refer to a donkey we are talking about a donkey which is living where it should, and living in its own environment and conditions. On the flip side we have the burro, which is what we use to refer to a wild donkey, a donkey which has found itself onto lands where it doesn’t come from, and a burro which essentially is causing problems. This is exactly the issue which they are having in Texas of course, they have donkeys which aren’t from the state, which don’t belong in the state and which are causing problems in the state. This is why we refer to them as burros.

Hopefully that has helped you to clear up what we mean when we talk about burros and donkeys.