The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. They were first domesticated around 3000 BC, probably in the Mediterranean regions and have spread around the world. Donkeys have worked together with humans for millennia and are adapted to arid lands. Contrary to popular belief donkeys appear to be quite intelligent, cautious, friendly, playful, and eager to learn. Their reputation for stubbornness is attributed to a much stronger sense of self-preservation than exhibited by horses. Likely based on a stronger prey instinct and a weaker connection with humans, it is considerably more difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it perceives to be dangerous for whatever reason. Once a person has earned their confidence they can be willing and companionable partners.