On Friday 8th March, an exceedingly blustery and torrential day, we drove up to Hamerton Zoo to pick up the new members of our equine family Jackson and Colorado. These two enormous gentle giants are a breed of donkey called the American Mammoth.
Leaving at 6.30 am we were blown all the way up the motorway before eventually seeing clear skies and arriving at our destination at 12.30. Jackson and Colorado were led out to the horse lorry by the lovely staff from Hamerton Zoo and were beautifully calm. Jackson had to have his extra-long ears pushed back so that they did not touch the top of the doorway and scare him on the way in. Once he was safely in he had enough clearance in the lorry for them to spring back up. Jackson went in beside him, we popped the ramp back up and started our long journey back home.
The two boys tucked into their haynets on the long journey home and were very settled and relaxed. Again, we were buffeted by the wind and the rain lashed down on the long and slow journey home. We eventually made it back to the Pony Centre at 6pm and unloaded them, this was their first look at their new home. A lovely big bed of straw awaited them and a full rack of hay and they settled in for the night.
The next morning we were greeted by our new cuddly mammoth donkeys. They had never been away from Hamerton before, their place of birth, but we could not have asked for a more affectionate greeting from these wonderful boys. After nipping out to get a couple of large rugs for them, we put them out into a field so that they could stretch their legs and munch on some grass.
We are now getting them used to their daily routine ready for our opening on 30th March. They go out into their field in the late afternoon and come into their barn in the morning. We have absolutely no doubt that you will be in awe of their two gigantic heads leaning over the gate underneath two pairs of gargantuan ears.
To say that all of our staff are absolutely in love is an understatement. The words ‘wow’ and ‘stunning’ are just a few of the words that have been heard on first meeting them. Getting any work done ready for opening is tricky when all of the staff just wants donkey hugs, but at least we know where to find them.
So what will our customers think when they first meet them? Their eyes will be drawn from the tip of their long, furry ears to their humongous forehead which sits over their enormous jutting brow. (The extended bony brow is a feature of this breed). Underneath their brow sits a pair of beautiful, soft intelligent brown eyes which invite you to go in and give them a magnificent oversized donkey hug for a magnificent oversized donkey.
We have absolutely no doubt that you will fall in love with them just as we have.