Although Equine members such as horses and donkeys are very well known as domestic animals, it’s still not uncommon for them to suffer from abandonment, abuse or neglect.
This is why Wild In Africa supports the incredible work of The Backwater Sanctuary in India, giving them the best care possible and trying to ensure that every animal that comes their way has a fighting chance.
In their honor, we have compiled 5 facts that you might not know about these incredible animals.
1. Horses can sleep standing up.
When standing, horses will fall into a deep doze, but can wake up and become alert very quickly. They use a very unique anatomical mechanism called the ‘stay apparatus’, allowing a horse's knee cap to pop out of place and lock the hind limb in a standing position. This is a survival mechanism for horses, since they evolved as a prey species.
However, if they feel safe, horses will lie down for deep sleep a few times each night.
2. Donkeys are stubborn for a reason!
In fact, they are more independent in their thinking than horses and make decisions based on their safety.
They have a highly developed sense of self preservation and if they see something as contrary to their safety or own best interest, it becomes very difficult to force or frighten them into doing it.
3. Horses have unique sight and sound characteristics
They have the largest eyes of any land mammal and, because they are located on the side of their head, they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time.
Horses also have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate their ears 180 degrees.
4. Donkeys have an excellent memory
They can remember other donkeys and recognise areas they were 25 years prior. Useful, as they can live up to 50 years old when they don’t shorten their life span by over-eating.
5. Horses can’t vomit
Unlike fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and most mammals, the horse's digestive system is a one-way street.
It’s almost impossible for a horse to vomit due to the influential bands of muscles around the oesophagus to prevent food from making a return trip.
Contribute to the The Backwater Sanctuary's efforts with our gorgeous obsidian stone bracelet, they receive 50% from every sale!