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African Pygmy Goat This goat originates from west and central Africa and was mainly used as a source of meat, as it was too small to produce large quantities of milk. Although a smaller species of goat, they are renowned for their abilities to jump and climb, making them quite good escape artists.
Dwarf Zebu Cattle are members of the family Bovidae which include Antelopes, Bison, Buffalo, Goats and Sheep. The Dwarf Zebu was developed from the Zebu which are the sacred cattle of India, where they are allowed to roam the streets and villages without being hindered or harmed. Zebus have a characteristic hump over the shoulder, drooping ears and a large dewlap (A fold of loose skin hanging from the neck). It is thought that the hump on the back is similar to that of the camel, being a source of nutrient-filled fat reserves for hard times.
Guinea Pig The common guinea pig was first domesticated as early as 5000 BC for food by tribes in the Andean region of South America. From about 1200 AD to the Spanish conquest in 1532, selective breeding resulted in many varieties of domestic guinea pigs, which form the basis for some of the modern domestic breeds. Spanish, Dutch, and English traders brought guinea pigs to Europe, where they quickly became popular as exotic pets among the upper classes and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth I. How the animals came to be called "pigs" is not clear. They are built somewhat like pigs, with large heads relative to their bodies, stout necks, and rounded rumps with no tail of any consequence; some of the sounds they emit are very similar to those made by pigs, and they also spend a large amount of time eating. The origin of "guinea" in "guinea pig" is harder to explain. One proposed explanation is that the animals were brought to Europe by way of Guinea, leading people to think they had originated there. "Guinea" was also frequently used in English to refer generally to any far-off, unknown country, so the name may simply be a colourful reference to the animal's exotic appeal. Another hypothesis suggests the "guinea" in the name is a corruption of "Guiana", an area in South America, though the animals are not native to that region. Species and colours may vary throughout the year. You will receive a photo of one of our current stock.
Miniature Donkey Miniature Donkeys are a separate breed of donkey originating from the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Because they were so small they were employed to turn grinding stones for grain inside the peasants houses. There are 18th century wood block pictures showing these small donkeys, blindfolded, attached to the grain mill and walking in endless circles. They were also used to carry water from village wells and supplies into the mountains for shepherds. Their height generally averages between 30" and 34". The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African wild ass. The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years.
Ouessant Sheep The Ouessant sheep, also known as the Breton miniature sheep, is the smallest breed of sheep. The breed originates from the tiny island Ouessant, which is situated off the coast of Britanny, France. A real favourite with staff and visitors. There were originally two lines of Ouessant, the Morbihan and the Vendeen, that eventually merged. The Morbihan was of a small size and black, brown or white in colour. The Vendeen was taller, only black with impressive horns. Some people suggest that the Ouessant breed descended from a Viking breed carried onboard the ships and left behind on conquered lands. The Ouessant sheep were kept on the Island until the mid 1900's. The breed almost disappeared and was saved from extinction by a group of Aristocrats, who allowed the sheep to graze on the land surrounding their chateaux.
Oxford Sandy and Black Pig Also known as the Plum Pudding or Oxford Forest pig. The origin of this domestic breed is uncertain, but it is thought to have developed some 200 years ago in Oxfordshire. It is quite a hardy animal and would have been kept ranging free in woodlands and rough grazing pasture. Pigs by their nature are foragers and will use their snout, plough like, to search through the soil for food.
Pony A pony is a small horse. Depending on context, a pony may be a horse that is under an approximate or exact height at the withers, or a small horse with a specific conformation and temperament. There are many different breeds. The ancestors of most modern ponies developed small stature because they lived on the margins of livable horse habitat. These smaller animals were domesticated and bred for various purposes all over the northern hemisphere. Ponies were historically used for driving and freight transport, as children's mounts, for recreational riding, and later as competitors and performers in their own right. During the Industrial Revolution, particularly in Great Britain, a significant number were used as pit ponies, hauling loads of coal in the mines. The word "pony" derives from the old French poulenet, meaning foal, a young, immature horse. Species and colours may vary throughout the year. You will receive a photo of one of our current stock.
Rabbit The European Rabbit is native to southwestern Europe and northwest Africa. It has been widely introduced elsewhere, often with devastating effects on local biodiversity. Rabbits were first introduced to the UK in AD 43, when the Romans invaded and brought rabbits with them as a source of food. Selective breeding of rabbits began in the Middle Ages, when they were first treated as domesticated farm animals. By the 16th century, several new breeds of different colors and sizes were being recorded. In the 19th century, as animal fancy in general began to emerge, rabbit fanciers began to sponsor rabbit exhibitions and fairs in Western Europe and the United States. Breeds were created and modified for the added purpose of exhibition, a departure from the breeds that had been created solely for food, fur, or wool. The rabbit's emergence as a household pet began during the Victorian era. Species and colours may vary throughout the year. You will receive a photo of one of our current stock.

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens