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New Zealand: Rare
Overseas: Rare
Importation: 1990s

Mammoth Donkeys

A Rare Breed of North American Origin

Mammoth Jack
Mammoth Jack 'Coffee Hollow French Roast' in New Zealand (Owned and photographed by Brian Harricks)

      The American Mammoth Donkey was bred from Maltese, Poitou, Andalusia and Catalonian breeds and developed in the United States of America. By 1915 the American Jack Stock were considered to be the finest in the world, developed primarily for producing excellent mules for work and riding. The male donkey is called a jack, and the Mammoth jack should be at least 58 inches (147 centimetres) high, while females are called jennets or jennies and start at 56 inches upwards.

Mammoth donkey jenny
Mammoth jenny 'Coffee Hollow Frappucino', now in New Zealand
(Photo courtesy owners, Jenny & Bryan Clausen)

      (When a jack is mated to a mare the offspring is a mule, which is sterile. The male is often called a “john mule” and the female a “molly mule”. Mules were used in New Zealand in the early days for all types of farmwork, but with the advent of machinery and tractors, slowly the hardworking four-legged animals started to disappear as they did in the United States, where the American Mammoth breed was nearly lost.)

      Today the Mammoth donkey is still classified as rare by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, with less than a thousand registrations annually. In early 2004 there were two Mammoth jennets and one Mammoth jack in New Zealand – all from the Coffee Hollow Stud in Texas, and all of them chestnut in colour. Australia also has some of this breed.

The Rare Breeds Website compilers gratefully acknowledge the help of Brian Harricks, and also Andrea Thomson of the Donkey Society of New Zealand, for information and assistance with this page.

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