Montenegrin Darko Saveljic, 42, stands next to his donkeys near the village of Gradina Martinicka on October 15, 2016. / AFP / SAVO PRELEVIC
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Machines long ago usurped a donkey's traditional role as the farmer's beast of burden, but the animals are winning new fans in Montenegro – thanks to their luxury milk.The product's price tag is significant in Montenegro, home to 620,000 people and an average monthly wage of about 500 euros.Donkey products are also promoted in Serbia, where the Zasavica Nature Reserve claims to sell the world's most expensive cheese – made from donkey milk – for 6,000 dinars ($52) per 50 grams.Montenegro's last agricultural census in 2010 put the donkey population at around 500, although Saveljic estimates there are now only 150, and this year the animal was included in a national conservation program for indigenous breeds.For 42-year-old Saveljic, producing milk is just one of the functions of his sanctuary and a way to keep it sustainable.
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