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 color, with a darker dorsal stripe, and stand about ten hands (one meter) 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.
The island is the home of New Zealand’s only feral Donkey breed,
Donkeys were brought to the island together with other livestock from New South Wales, and a feral population established itself. The Ponui Island Donkey now has formal breed status,and some are distributed in mainland New Zealand. It is registered by the Donkey & Mule Society of New Zealand. The Donkey is listed as “rare” by the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand.
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