Not 'Coals to Newcastle', but 'BdP to France'
We are delighted that our young male Poitou Donkey, 'Vagabond d'Hamerton' is soon to head to France to join the consevation programme for this endangered animal. The French breed association, la SABAUD (Save-the-Baudet) was established over 20 years ago when it was realised that only a couple of dozen of these Donkeys still survived. Their work has resulted in the numbers slowly rising to a couple of hundred today. The Baudet du Poitou is still rarer than the Tiger or the Giant Panda. At the Hamerton Donkey Stud which adjoins the Zoo we have one of the most important groups of this Donkey outside France.
'Vagabond' was born at Hamerton in July 2009, and is to be stationed with la SABAUD because his bloodlines are poorly represented in France and are needed in the national breeding programme. We consider it a great honour than an English donkey is to go back to France where the breed has a documented history going back a thousand years, making it both the oldest recorded breed of equine and an important part of French agricultural heritage.
Pictures of some of our Poitou Donkeys can be found on the 'Domestic Animals' section of the 'Meet the Animals' page.