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STATUS
New Zealand: Rare
Overseas: Very Rare
Origin: Feral

Ponui Donkeys

A Rare Breed of New Zealand Origin

Ponui donkey on Lorne Kuehn's Waitangi Estate
Ponui donkey on Lorne Kuehn's Waitangi Estate   (Photo by Karen Nicoll)

      Ponui donkeys are New Zealand's only feral donkey breed. The feral herd is established on Ponui Island in the Hauraki Gulf, east of Auckland. They are descendants of three animals imported from Australia in the 1880s by the Chamberlin family, who obtained title to the island in 1854.

      Ponui donkeys are mostly light grey in colour, with a darker dorsal stripe, and stand about ten hands (one metre) high.

      In recent years a number have been brought to the mainland and rare breeds enthusiasts are currently trying to build up a viable, genetically pure population of these sturdily built and docile donkeys.

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