1. The coat of a mammal, consisting of hair, fur, wool, or other soft covering, as distinct from bare skin.
2. Something felt to resemble the coat of a mammal: “The hardwoods were a soft pale green in the dark pelage of the conifers” (Peter Matthiessen).
[French, from Old French, from peil, pel, hair, from Latin pilus.]
Because I’m a bad donkey friend–it’s Fergus with his head on Bernard and not the other way around–right??
I’m so glad these two are interacting. It would be so easy for the donkey boys to stay in their original ‘herds’.
Here’s an answer from The American Donkey and Mule Society:
Donkey is the correct term for any of the domesticated Asses. Horses, Donkeys and zebras are all of the family Equus.
Burro is a coloquial term for the Spanish or feral type of donkey (wild burros). The term is used almost exclusively in the West. The term is correct only when applied to the mid-sized types of donkeys, and more correctly only those who are wild in descent. (They are STILL domestic animals – feral means domesticated that has gone back to a wild state – not an indigenous wild species!)
The term burro is NOT correct in use with Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys (under 36″) or in Mammoth Asses (over 56″).
And here’s an answer from Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue:
Many people continue to misunderstand the terminology associated with the donkey. The word “donkey” is derived from the English word “dun” meaning gray and “ky” meaning small. The word donkey has been around for hundreds of years and had become a term used to describe all members of the genus: Equus Africanus Asinus.
The Spanish word “burro” is derived from the Latin word “Burrisimo” meaning little horse. Burro is to donkey as amigo is to friend. Both words have the same meaning.
In the United States, we use the terms to differentiate between the domesticated donkey and the wild free-ranging burros. Therefore, a burro is wild and a donkey is domesticated. As they are from the same common stock, there are no physical differences between the two. Wild burros in an area will share a common look, largely due to the fact that the gene pool that initially started the herd was small.