Rare Poitou donkeys will be one of the animal attractions at the Royal Norfolk Show.

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The unusual animals, recognisable by their large bodies and shaggy coats, originate from the Poitou region of France.

They are an endangered species – rarer than pandas –with only about 3,000 left in the world.

Kurt Manders, who is one of a handful of UK owners of the breed, will be bringing four donkeys to this year’s show from his sanctuary in Colchester, including a two-week-old foal.

Mr Manders competed with his donkeys at the show last year and, although there are no donkey classes this year, the animals proved so popular that he has been invited back as a visitor attraction.

He said: “Their temperament is like no other, they are very calm and docile. They absolutely love human attention and will push you until you stroke them or –- as I do – kiss and hug them! “They have beautiful brown, long, shaggy coats and can grow up to 15 hands.”

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