Donkeys and elephants are the symbols of the two main political parties in the United States. The donkey is the symbol of the Democratic Party and the elephant represents the Republican Party. While the first use of the donkey was in the early 1820s, both symbols became widely used in the 1880s after cartoonist Thomas Nast depicted the animals in political cartoons. The symbols have been used ever since.

Each animal is amazing in its own way.

Five Cool Donkey Facts

1) Donkeys can run up to 31 miles per hour!

2) Donkeys can carry 30 percent of their body weight!

3) Donkey skeletons at Egyptian tombs show that they were domesticated for heavy fieldwork and transportation for over 6,000 years.

4) Donkeys are traditionally used as pack animals, but in some countries they are used to guard sheep, eaten for their meat, and sometimes seen as symbols of wealth and status.

5) Donkeys have a high pain tolerance and stoic nature, and their owners may not know when a donkey is hurt or injured.

Five Amazing Elephant Facts

1) African elephants have ears shaped like the continent of Africa.

2) An Asian elephant can weigh up to 11,000 pounds, but its relative the African elephant can weigh up to 13,200 pounds! The elephant is the largest living land mammal.

3) An elephant's trunk is used as a nose, a tool for gathering food and water, and as an extra foot or hand.

4) Elephants drink 30-50 gallons of water per day.

5) The biggest threat to elephant survival is humans.

Click here to learn more about donkeys and elephants as political symbols.

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