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The Cotentin donkey (Equus asinus) originates from the peninsula of the same name where it was introduced in the Middle Ages. We are sure of their presence in the 16th century in the Manche thanks to documents kept in the departmental archives. At the beginning of the 20th century, the donkey trade was a great success at the annual fairs of Lessay and Gavray, two Manche towns. Hundreds of Cotentin donkeys were sold and left for other regions of France and even abroad. This explains their current presence in many French departments.
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