The Island of Rhea, or Île-de-Ré in French, off the west coast of France near La Rochelle, is a popular summer destination known for its gently sloping, sandy beaches, cool waters and constant light breeze, which are a real treat for families and tourists. The island’s other famous attraction are its donkeys.
The donkeys of Ile de Ré are no ordinary breed —they are Poitou donkeys, or Baudet du Poitou in French. Originating from the Poitou region of France, they are one of the largest donkey breeds, and because of their size they were employed largely as working mules in the island’s salt industry. The most distinguishing feature of Poitou donkeys, apart from their size, is their long shaggy coat, called a cadanette, which hangs in long, ungroomed cords that further emphasizes their above-average size.
A pair of Poitou donkeys in their traditional garb. Photo credit: Jiel Beaumadier/WikimediaRead more »
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