Rare donkey born at Mass. petting zoo

Poitou donkey born at Davis Farmland in Sterling

A Poitou donkey foal named Richelieu born on Friday July 23, walk with his mother Orelia in their outdoor enclosure at Schoenbrunn zoo, in Vienna Austria, on Thursday, July 29, 2010. Poitou donkeys are strongly endangered domestic animal races. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

STERLING, Mass. (AP) — A rare Poitou donkey has been born in Massachusetts.

The male donkey was born Saturday at Davis Farmland, a petting zoo, spray park and sanctuary for rare farm breeds, located in the central Massachusetts town of Sterling.

Co-owner Larry Davis says there are only about 100 purebred Poitou donkeys in the world. They were once widespread work animals on farms around the world, but fell out of favor with the rise of modern motorized machinery.

The baby donkey’s parents are Duke and Duchess, two adults who came to Davis Farmland together from Tennessee just over a year ago.

Taller than conventional donkeys, Poitous have long shaggy hair.

David Farmland is holding a contest to name the new addition.

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