The Poitou region of France spawned the Poitou donkey, a large hairy breed that almost died out thirty years ago.
The Poitou comes from the Equus asinus species and is - basically - a donkey with dreadlocks. It looks as if it could have been genetically engineered to satisfy the faddish longings of a billionaire's daughter but has in fact been living and working
in this region of France for hundreds of years. The Poitou was bred exclusively to be used in the breeding of mules (one of the traditional activities of the region) and as such was exported throughout the world in numbers.
In 1977, there were only 25 Poitou donkeys in existence. Now, thanks to a conservation program and the donkey's gentle nature, there are over a thousand worldwide! Link -Thanks, RJ Evans!
(image credit: dynamosquito)