Danny the miniature donkey, Blackpool Zoo’s resident stallion, has become a father just in time to celebrate the national day of recognition for dearest dads! A tiny female foal, who has been named Leah by keepers, was born to mom Charlene on June 11.The birth was uncomplicated, with no intervention from staff needed. She is the first baby to be born in the Zoo’s brand new Children’s Farm and is already a huge hit with the public. One look and you can see why!
Charlene and Leah (below) are currently housed their own separate area but will be introduced back into the herd very soon. For the first three months Leah will feed exclusively from her mother, although she will start picking at and exploring grass and hay in the coming weeks. She will be fully weaned at around six months.
The birth brings the number of Mediterranean miniature donkeys to six with the others being Amanda, Emma, the foal’s older sister Eliza and, of course mother Charlene and father Danny.
Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Co-ordinator at Blackpool Zoo, UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome the adorable little Leah to our herd. We have a long and successful history of breeding Mediterranean miniature donkeys and have been keeping them here at the zoo since 1998." Jude adds, "Anyone treating their dad to a Father’s Day trip to the zoo should certainly head down to the Children’s Farm to see just how cute she is!”
Photo Credit: Blackpool Zoo
Hailing from Sicily and Sardinia, the Mediterranean miniature donkey is almost extinct in the wild in their native land, though breeding programs have been very successful in the United States. When fully grown they at stand at between 30 and 36 inches tall.