18 Nov 2014
Baudet du Poitou, France
The Baudet du Poitou.
The Poitevin donkey almost became extinct, living specimens having dwindled down to about 40 world-wide just a few decades ago, but a combination of public and private efforts to save this ancient breed got the numbers up to over 450 by 2005.
The Baudet du Poitou is one of the largest breeds of donkey and was kept for breeding mules. The origins of the breed are thought to go back to Antiquity when the Romans introduced mule breeding as a specialty of the region.
Mechanization of agriculture caused the decline of the breed. But, starting in 1977, patriotic efforts to save the locally famous breed were underway.
Arc in Space article via Kuriositas.