London: Many of us may have been using the age-old saying "stubborn as a mule", but a British expert has said such an impression about donkeys is unfounded, as he says they are actually "misunderstood".
The belief dates back to ancient Greece when writers Homer and Aesop portrayed donkeys as stubborn, servile and stupid. But that view was rejected by experts during a two-day conference on "donkey, mule and hinny cultures worldwide", a newspaper reported.
Ben Hart, from the Donkey Sanctuary at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, has claimed that the donkeys` behaviour is in fact misunderstood.
He said: "Donkey`s behaviour is commonly misunderstood principally because their behaviour is compared to that of the horse, rather than viewed as a separate species.
"By looking at the domesticated donkeys` evolutionary niche and the behaviour of both free-living donkeys and domesticated donkeys, it is possible to explain the different behaviours of donkeys and to lay to rest their reputation for stubbornness and their misrepresentation as small horses with big ears."