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A nursery manager sprang into action, when a donkey called Rosie trotted up to her nursery’s car park to give birth.
Children and staff at the Coach House Day Nursery in South Gorley in the New Forest, watched in shock as a heavily pregnant donkey approached from a nearby field with what looked a foal's legs sticking out of her.
Nursery manager Caroline Paul was first alerted to the expectant mum after one of the children ran to her to say ‘the baby is coming’.
Amid concerns the donkey was struggling to dispatch her heavy load, Caroline Paul - who luckily for Rosie is a farmer’s daughter - tapped into her childhood memories to work out what to do, giving her early years children an impromptu biology lesson in the process.
Rosie the donkey, must have known she was in good hands when Mrs Paul, with the assistance of Anne Marie - a fellow staff member who owns horses, got stuck in and delivered her daughter into the world.
The female foal was brought into the world at 10.15am on 4 July. But Mrs Paul is matter of fact in her response when it comes to describing her efforts, saying it is all in a day’s work.
“We just gave her a bit of assistance...come the end”, she said.
The baby donkey quickly got to her feet and Caroline Paul says "it was quite incredible that she got up so quick" but was “just like a scene out of Bambi" and "quite comical ” as the foal proved unsteady on her feet and fell over a few times.
Admitting it was “quite an experience” too for the watching children, Mrs Paul was happy to talk them through what was happening.
Coach House Day Nursery is a forest school attended by 55 children and although used to seeing animals at the nursery, which is situated in the New Forest National Park, Mrs Paul was surprised that the mum-to-be hadn’t opted to have her foal under a cloak of darkness, like other donkeys.
While one staff member quipped that Rosie was just keen to get her offspring a place at the nursery, the mother and daughter did indeed spend their first day recuperating at the setting. The donkey’s owner was so grateful Rosie was watched over, the children have been given the chance to name the foal.
The children got busy last weekend (July 8) thinking up different names for the newborn beginning with the letter D- just like all foals born in the New Forest this year. The names including 'Dizzy' and 'Delia' were suggested by the children and sent to the owner who selected the name 'Daisy'.
Update (18 July): Since Daisy's birth, new mum Rosie has been spotted in the vicinity hanging out with Jack - also the name of a male donkey.