Meet the new-born donkey rarer than a giant panda
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
STAFF and volunteers at a dale rescue centre are celebrating after the birth of a rare pygmy donkey.
Wetheriggs Animal Rescue’s matriarch Mediterranean pygmy donkey, Cara, gave birth to a jack foal on Saturday, March 26.
The breed is so rare that they are fewer of them than there are giant pandas.
Centre operator Terry Bowes said: “Cara was born at the old Wetheriggs site near Penrith in Cumbria – she was one of the animals featured on the BBC Look North programme that covered the move from Cumbria to the present site within the Thorpe Farm Centre on the A66 just outside Barnard Castle.”
Volunteers at Wetheriggs have named the foal Lorenzo – all of the babies born this year will be given names beginning with the letter L.
Lorenzo is Cara’s third offspring. Her sister Josie can also be seen within the Thorpe Farm complex.
The sire, Texas Titbit, who is at present on breeding loan at Heads of Ayr Wildlife Park. Titbit was actually imported from the US.
Mr Bowes said: “As you would expect from the name, the Mediterranean pygmy donkey hails originally from Southern Europe.
“After the Second World War a lot of people in Europe were starving, to safeguard this vulnerable equine American GI’s airlifted a handful of these creatures back to America.
“These animals became the foundation stock for the present worldwide population.”
For more information about the bree,d contact Mr Bowes on 07764 352835.
People wanting to see the new born can visit the centre daily between 9am and 4pm.