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In Normandy ever since the Middle Ages
The Cotentin donkey (Equus asinus) originates from the peninsula bearing the same name, where it was introduced in the Middle Ages. Their presence in the Manche is certain from the 16th century onwards, as attested by 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 villages. Hundreds of Cotentin donkeys left for other regions of France, and even abroad. This explains their current presence in many French departments.
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