Jumping Donkey Leaps to Fame in Egyptian Village

February 10, 2016 Updated: February 10, 2016

AL-ARID, Egypt—A donkey has leapt to fame in a small Egyptian village by defying her species’ well-known stubbornness and jumping hurdles on command.

Ahmed Ayman, a 14-year-old farmer living in the Nile Delta north of Cairo, discovered his donkey’s natural talent when she leapt over an irrigation canal one day, and decided to train her. “We got a very small barrier, and then would make it higher and higher each day,” he said.

Now the two perform in front of crowds of gleeful children from their village of al-Arid. Ayman uses a wooden baton to urge the donkey on and leaps over a homemade wooden barrier in the style of an equestrian. A cousin has posted pictures of the feat online, which have been spread through social media.

In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman and his donkey jump over a barrier in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. Donkeys are a fixture of daily life in rural Egypt, where they are used for transportation or to haul goods, and can often be seen in Cairo and other major cities. But its rare to see a donkey gallop, much less go airborne.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman and his donkey jump over a barrier in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. Donkeys are a fixture of daily life in rural Egypt, where they are used for transportation or to haul goods, and can often be seen in Cairo and other major cities. But its rare to see a donkey gallop, much less go airborne.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Donkeys are a fixture of daily life in rural Egypt, where they are used for transportation or to haul goods, and can often be seen in Cairo and other major cities. But it’s rare to see a donkey gallop, much less go airborne.

“I have never seen a jumping donkey before. We even tried it with another donkey and when it reached the barrier it stopped,” said Abdel-Moneim Sayed, Ayman’s uncle. “A donkey is very stubborn. If he knows that he cannot pass a barrier he will not even try, no matter what you do.”

In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman, 14, and his donkey start their daily training in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. By chance, he discovered her unique talent: the ability to leap over a hurdle like a horse. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman, 14, and his donkey start their daily training in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. By chance, he discovered her unique talent: the ability to leap over a hurdle like a horse. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Ayman dreams of one day jumping horses, but he says he would never part with his donkey, even for a huge sum of money, “because she can jump, and I love her.”

Here is a series of photographs of the donkey showing off her unique talent by Associated Press Photographer Amr Nabil.

In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman, 14, rides his trained donkey as she jumps over a barrier in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman, 14, rides his trained donkey as she jumps over a barrier in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, villagers gather to watch Ahmed Ayman, 14, and his donkey as they jump over a barrier in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. The young farmer dreams of one day jumping horses, but he says he would never part with her, even for a huge sum of money, because she can jump, and I love her.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, villagers gather to watch Ahmed Ayman, 14, and his donkey as they jump over a barrier in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. The young farmer dreams of one day jumping horses, but he says he would never part with her, even for a huge sum of money, because she can jump, and I love her.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, the sun sets behind young Egyptian farmer, Ahmed Ayman, 14, and his trained donkey in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. Ayman dreams of one day jumping horses, but he says he would never part with his donkey, even for a huge sum of money, because she can jump, and I love her.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, the sun sets behind young Egyptian farmer, Ahmed Ayman, 14, and his trained donkey in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. Ayman dreams of one day jumping horses, but he says he would never part with his donkey, even for a huge sum of money, because she can jump, and I love her.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Egyptian farmer Ahmed Ayman, 14, feeds his donkey before they start their daily jump training in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. Donkeys are a fixture of daily life in rural Egypt, where they are used for transportation or to haul goods, and can often be seen in Cairo and other major cities. But its rare to see a donkey gallop, much less go airborne. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Egyptian farmer Ahmed Ayman, 14, feeds his donkey before they start their daily jump training in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. Donkeys are a fixture of daily life in rural Egypt, where they are used for transportation or to haul goods, and can often be seen in Cairo and other major cities. But its rare to see a donkey gallop, much less go airborne. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman measures the height of a barrier before before he starts his daily donkey equestrian-style training in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman measures the height of a barrier before before he starts his daily donkey equestrian-style training in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman, 14, leads his donkey to her daily training in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid, about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt.  She has leapt to fame in a small Egyptian village by defying her species well-known stubbornness and jumping hurdles on command. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 picture, Ahmed Ayman, 14, leads his donkey to her daily training in the Nile Delta village of Al-Arid, about 150 kilometers north of Cairo, Egypt. She has leapt to fame in a small Egyptian village by defying her species well-known stubbornness and jumping hurdles on command. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)