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Concerned citizens have already objected to the Party Animals on aesthetic and political grounds. Now there’s an anatomical problem: The model for the 100 so-called donkeys scattered around the District was equipped with a long, flowing tail, like a horse’s. Real donkeys, says Leah Patton, secretary of the Texas-based American Donkey and Mule Society, have “tails like a cow,” skinny with a tuft of hair on the end. On inspection, the District’s equines are revealed also to have shorter ears and more prominent musculature than the donkey standard. They display, in fact, all the hallmarks of the mulethe sterile, hardworking offspring of a male donkey and female horse. Patton, who says she’s used to seeing donkeys misrepresented, resorts to a livestock-breeding pun: Whoever designed the prototype, she declares, made a “half-ass effort.” Tom Scocca
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