But Francisco Lugo Serrano, the Jalisco official leading the import project, says their numbers have greatly diminished in many other regions, particularly in the more developed north. I've heard that the Tijuana donkey show featuring a female whore is not real other than the fact that they do bring out a donkey and do some simulation for people who are drunk. Aaron says his big-boned animals are descendants of the jack and jennet that the King of Spain famously sent to George Washington in For years, he says, the two of them worked alongside each other in the sugar cane and cornfields. Before that, mentions of "donkey shows" in newspapers, books, or magazines were exactly that: There is not a burro in sight. Farmers say they cause less damage than machines amid the tight rows of blue agave, the spike-leaved plants that produce tequila. As more farmers become nostalgic about their donkeys, the nation's largest annual donkey festival has surged in popularity. In fact, many farmers have shunned donkeys because of their negative association with poverty and backwardness, officials say. Three years later, the search for a donkey show in Tijuana is a plot point in the Tom Cruise film, Losin' It; by the mids, a pioneering ska band called themselves The Donkey Show — based out of San Diego, no less. Now, as the animals have started disappearing, people are "realising their importance", Martinez says. The donkeys that remain tend to be small, often more than a head shorter than their American cousins, Lugo says. But those days are gone. He plans to import about 50 Kentucky donkeys and breed them with Mexican horses to produce mules, as well as creating a national breeding centre that will strengthen Mexican donkey stock. He doesn't use the word donkey, which, he says, "means a small grey animal", but calls his animals "mammoths".