When I got my two donkey girls, the breeder specifically said that for pets, the females are far preferable. Just the opposite of horses, she said, even gelded males tend to be moody and can be quite aggressive. There seem to be plenty of folks who have gelded donks who are not a problem, but I've found my girls to be pretty steady.
That said, I can see the truth in your statement about uncut jacks, given how donkeys in general are just "more so" than horses, in so many important ways (temperament and handle-ability).
"One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine
I think it is important to also add unhandled donkeys to that as well, especially unhandled jacks. I have a gelded donk that is the sweetest guy in the world. I got him as a yearling, had him gelded and he is handled daily. I have seen older donks that are unhandled and un gelded that are scary!
Of course, in the end, it is the humans who are most dangerous to animals. By failing to handle / geld / appropriately manage this donkey, his owner made it more likely that the donkey wouldn't know better than to hurt someone. We fail in our responsibilities, the animals pay with their lives.
I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09
I wish people would geld them and handle them well/get them halter broke. We've had so many come into the rescue over the past year (and turned more away due to lack of room for donkeys). They're never halter broke.
(I am learning a lot about them - they're interesting critters and a lot of disservice is done to them by treating them as long-eared horses).
Yes, Donkeys can be dangerous. They are not horses, don't think like a horse and don't react like a horse. A horse will most likely run away from a percieved threat and while a donkey will run too he is also far more likely to come at you with teeth and front feet flying than a horse.
The article didn't state if this was unusual behavior for this particular donkey or not. My first thought was I hope they considered that the donkey may have had rabies.
Like any other animal humans have domesticated donkeys must be properly socialized and trained otherwise it's a wild animal, pure and simple. Gelding non breeding animals is not only the best thing for the people who must handle the animal it is also kinder for the animal.
This is not about an agressive donkey it's about his clueless owners.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."
I have a gelding and a jenny mini-donk. When the jenny goes into heat, my gelding gets very moody and wont let anyone/thing near her (but me). He just gets in between person/animal and his jenny, and gets very intense about not letting anything near her. Nothing aggressive, just wont let you pass. He turns into a brick wall that moves. I could totally see this behaviour escalating if he were intact. I think the lack of testosterone is my saving grace.
That said. They're not halter broke. They'll wear a halter, and a grazing muzzle... but lead them with a rope. Hell no! They'll sit, plant their feet, and drag me in the other direction. I've tried everything, and even their favourite treat doesn't work. They will however come when they're called and go where I point. Just don't put a lead rope on (it is beneath them to be led like... a horse!). I love those two dearly!
I was attacked by my mom's young ungelded mini donkey in the pasture one day. Thank god he was small enough that I was able to fight him off long enough to get back on the other side of the fence. Needless to say, I made sure my mom gelded him right away and she found him a home that did not have children and random people coming around all the time. My mom runs an informal petting zoo in a tiny town, and a law suit or someone getting killed is the last thing anyone needs. I just had horrible visions of him coming after her or some unsuspecting visitor... :P I felt bad because she had raised this donkey from a weanling, and she loved the damn thing, and really believed that he wouldn't hurt her! But animals are unpredictable and donkeys really can be a whole other ball game compared to horses!!
having had jackstock for most of my life I fell compelled to answer the "it's all the owners fault" posts (and those close to it)
jackstock have a much more primitive part of their brain than horses do...well primitive may not be the scientific wording but it is the most accurate for this discussion
the reason mules are so different from horses are that jackstock are so different from horses
my gelded jack that has been with me 31 years drew a bead on my husband in the rain late one summer night as he stood guard over the two boys sleeping on ground beside him...he startled him from sleeping and it was "game on"
31 GELDED- well handled- years that came to zero for a few seconds until he recognized who the man was....and he was going to tear my 6'1' husband up....period
the tiny mini ones are no different than the mammoths in this regard and you need to know this about them if you are going to handle them
Are different breeds/types of donkey known to have different temperaments, in the same way as horses? My experience of donkeys is limited to 'British' ones that are of the small (maybe you would call it miniature?) type, and I have never been attacked or even threatened, aggressively bitten[*] or kicked - and that includes handling entires.
[* In my relatively unsavvy teens, I allowed a jack to get hold of my thumb as I was walking across a field with my hands clasped behind my back and him following, but I am sure that was motivated by oral curiosity not aggression.]