Kalpitiya donkies are not native to sri lanka, they were brought over by Arab and Dutch traders over few hundreads of years ago, these donkies are distinct from others found in manner, are the only two known colonies of donkies found in sri lanka, estimated to be around 3000 donkies in srilanka.
They were used to bring sault from palavi witch is the narrow stretch leading in to the paninsula,up until 20th century, they roamed across the peninsula, once they where once common sight.
recent years their numbers have dwindled and can only be found within 10 to 15 km stretch, this is due to large scale prawn farming and pollution ; in recent years road was carpeted and due to speeding vehicle.
This particular species is thought to belong to the same family as the Nubian sub species of the African Wild Ass, In its native Ethiopia and Sudan, the donkey is now almost extinct. In Sri Lanka however, it has continue to survive. Newcomers to Kalpitiya are often startled by hideous braying and grunting. For the locals however, they are a sign that the donkeys are still alive and that some have survived the pot.
kalpitiya donkies living space is shrinking even smaller due to large scale hotel building, and their gracing land has been cut off due to fencing.