Diamond Creek Moonwatcher is quite large by ass standards.

The $60,000 American mammoth donkey is the first of its kind to be imported to Australia from the United States for at least two decades.

Shipped from Kentucky by Queensland mule breeder David Scholl, it hasn’t taken the jack long to win over people in his adopted country

Even donkeys do quarantine

At 15 hands (152 centimetres) tall, Moonwatcher is considerably bigger than the average Australian donkey that would be expected to be 11 hands (111cm) tall.

This special donkey was required to do his time in quarantine because of the risk of exotic diseases such as equine influenza and equine metritis.

“Just like all horses, donkeys and mules that are imported into Australia, Moonwatcher had to spend 14 days in pre-export and 14 days in post-entry quarantine,” federal head of biosecurity Andrew Tongue said.

“Diamond Creek Moonwatcher met all of Australia’s strict biosecurity requirements and is now expected to become the first of a line of robust donkeys and mules in Australia.”

Even in quarantine, Moonwatcher won the hearts of his minders, according to post-entry quarantine facility assistant secretary Peter Finnin.

“He was a popular occupant, at least among the staff; he was very friendly and became really attached to the team,” he said.

Mr Finnin said the giant donkey had the “most incredible” bray that echoed through the quarantine facility and annoyed all the thoroughbred horses.

“The security guards on site were wondering what the hell was going on,” he said.

Robust riding mules

Shipped and cooled mammoth donkey semen can retail for as much as $US450 ($580), making Moonwatcher’s progeny highly sought after.

Mr Scholl, who is based near Biggenden, purchased him for his size and ability to produce large, quality foals.

He said the abilities of mules — a donkey-horse crossbreed — were underestimated in Australia.

“They get flustered really fast, you have to teach them in baby steps, but once a mule gets it they’ve got it for life,” Mr Scholl said.

“A mule can do absolutely anything a horse can do.

“Mules can live on 75 per cent of the diet of a horse, and a mule, kilo for kilo, is 25 per cent stronger than any horse of the same size.”

Source: ABC News