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Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys
A Rare Breed of European Origin
Mediterranean donkeys are true miniatures and are the latest addition to the donkey breeds now found in New Zealand. They arrived in this country from the USA in 1997, and for this reason are referred to as American Miniature Mediterranean donkeys.
Originating in Africa, donkeys spread to the Mediterranean, mainly the islands of Sardinia and Sicily where they were worked very hard as beasts of burden. Combined overloading, poor nutrition and the ignorance of their owners meant their life span was shortened leading to a significant drop in their numbers. Today they are almost extinct now in their home area and their export is banned.
They were first brought in to the United States from the Mediterranean in 1929, and are now popular in the USA and are becoming increasingly so around the world.
They come in a variety of colours and some are less than 30 inches (76 centimetres) in height. In early 2004 the number of American Miniature Mediterranean donkeys in New Zealand (imported or bred here) was 29.
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