Donkeys in Dalmatia

Yesterday we went mushroom picking in the woods of Bukovica and although the hunt for some edible mushrooms was not all that successful, we did get to enjoy wonderful walk in the woods on a sunny autumn afternoon. On our way back, a small group of donkeys got in our way on the road.

We met at the crossroads...
We met at the crossroads…

They did look wild but since there are some people still living in these villages, the owner was close by. The donkeys are not so common in Dalmatia as they used to be… There are only about 1000 of them left in the coastal region of Dalmatia and one survey in 1998 had listed 8000 donkeys total in Croatia . Back in 1937, there were 40 000 of them! That is called progress, I guess…
So it is always nice to see this beautiful animal and especially so when roaming free as these guys.

Mommy donkey and baby donkey
Mommy donkey and baby donkey

But one should also be careful as sometimes they just go crazy and run around biting each other and playing rough. Often kicking each other with their legs.


Making noise!
Making noise!
Biting and kicking
Biting and kicking
Pulac – young donkey

There are three different donkey species in Croatia: Littoral-Dinaric type, Northern-Adriatic type and Istrian type. All three are endangered now and it looks like our children will be seeing them only in ZOOs in few decades.





  1. Suzana says:

    My grandfather used to have donkeys. One summer as I child I remember how he took me and my sister with the donkeys up to the mountains of Svilija. Stubborn animals but so cute. I really hope they will survive! 🙂

  2. Morgan says:

    Ah yes – the “Šolta taxi”! There are a few magarci on the island, and they are put to work; one man is almost entirely lame, but can ride a donkey down some cliffs to his summer camp.

  3. Marko says:

    Another great story Alan. Memories from my childhood are full of donkeys;-) I am a native of a small town, Primosten, who among other things is known for donkeys. Each family who worked in agriculture had a donkey. You can only imagine what a donkey’s music it was when they all started singing at the same time. Today I know for several islands that keep small colonies of donkeys, but also the two farm donkeys look pretty impressive. One is in the village Jezera, near Sibenik, and the other in village Kuna on the Peljesa peninsula. Both are worth go visiting.

  4. balancana says:

    tako jednostavno i tako lipo…niko drugi bi proša i nebi vidija…a jesmo bogati dil svita, ma samo triba znat gledat i vidit…bravo…

  5. @ Suzana – that must have been a great experience! Hope that they survive even as a tourist attraction…
    @ Morgan – Like all islands, Šolta is becoming donkey free island 🙁
    @ Marko – Yes, the sound of donkeys! What a music! There is also a very big donkey farm (probably the biggest) in Briševo near Zadar. It is called Dar – Mar and they sell donkey milk, too.
    @ balancana – jesmo bogati ali smo sve veća sirotinja kad to gubimo i ne znamo cijeniti

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