Guinness world record holder Romulus the donkey lives near Adrian


GRAPE TWP. – There is a tall, cute, four-legged, Guinness World Record holder living near Adrian. His name is Romulus, and he is an American mammoth jackstock donkey.

Romulus and his own brother, Remus, are owned by Phil Yellott and Cara Barker Yellott of Adrian. The two have had the donkeys since 2012, when Barker Yellott was looking for donkeys to buy, when they lived in Dallas before moving to Adrian in 2015. During her research, she came across Romulus and Remus, named after the founders of Rome. Due to the numerous droughts of 2011, both brothers were very underweight when Yellott and Barker Yellott met them. They promised to give them a good home, and that is exactly what they did.

This breed of donkeys are very calm and friendly, but they can be frightened by small, unfamiliar objects. For example, they don’t like plastic bags, possibly because of the noise they make, and also because plastic bags are not part of their natural habitat. They don’t recognize exactly what it is.

“They are very gentle, they are very calm, they are very nervous if you scare them. From my experience only with these two boys, they’re pretty standard asses in temperament from what I’ve heard, but they’re very playful, ”Yellott said.

Romulus, or Rom, as he is sometimes called, is 17 years old and measures 17 hands at the withers, or, in other words, 5 feet 8 inches at the front shoulder. Remus, 15, is 16.2 hands or 5 feet 6 inches tall at the front shoulder. They each weigh around 1,300 pounds. The sound that donkeys make is called a bray, and it is loud and like the sound of a foghorn.

The former owner of Romulus and Remus told Barker Yellott and Yellott that Romulus had 16 hands. It was later found out that it actually measures 17 hands. Leah Patton, manager of the American Donkey and Mule Society, is a friend of the couple, and entrusted them with the world record at the time for the largest donkey, named Oklahoma Sam, measured at 15.3 hands. When Patton first met Romulus, she thought he was probably taller than Oklahoma Sam. This got Yellott excited, and he contacted Guinness to see how to get Romulus certified as the current record holder. Yellott said the certification process included six witnesses, a registered veterinarian to measure it, and newspaper and television coverage. Romulus was officially named the world’s tallest donkey in May 2013, while the couple still lived in Dallas.

Remus, left, and Romulus, the world's tallest donkey, are pictured on May 16 at their home in Raisin Township.

The brothers look a lot alike, but Yellott said one way to tell the difference between them is that Romulus has a forelock, while Remus has a sticky top knot. Their coloring is also slightly different from each other. Another difference is their wasted time. Donkeys usually lose once a year, and the timing of this is different for each donkey.

The American mammoth jackstock donkeys are the largest breed of donkeys. Their main goal was to make strong mules.

“It was built over the years in the United States to make quality mules. Now hundreds of years ago there were thousands, thousands and thousands of American mammoth male donkeys in the United States, but now I think they are less than 5,000 years old, ”said Yellott. “Endangered is not the right word because they are not wild animals, but they are a small pocket of equines.”

Rom and Remus are very fond of each other and can experience separation anxiety at times.

“When we first received them, they had to be not only in sight, but also close to each other. But now, as if I put a halter on Rom and brought him into the barn, I don’t have to put a halter on Remus. He’s just following, ”Yellott said.

Remus, left, photographs a photo of his brother Romulus, the world's tallest donkey, on May 16 at their home in Raisin Township.

Romulus and Remus are not kept in the front paddocks for road safety reasons, but appointments can be set up to meet them. There is no charge to meet the boys, but they love carrots and apples, and watermelon is their all-time favorite snack. In fact, Yellott uses carrots to help him get a feel for how boys are feeling. If they don’t want or take the carrot, he knows something is wrong and calls the vet.

“The boys have their own paddock, and they roam freely and play all day. Donkeys are very playful. They play very hard and hard. They will also be playing tug of war with their rubber feed bins, sticks or blankets, ”Yellott said. “Romulus and Remus are very close. They love each other and do everything together. It’s like having an eight foot donkey.

Yellott and Barker Yellott also own Icelandic horses and sheep, in addition to Romulus and Remus. Barker Yellott is a riding instructor at her company, Privateer Riding Academy, in Milan

You can find Romulus on Facebook.


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