Meet the world’s first mini-mule – a miniature Shetland pony crossed with donkey which has left vets baffled and is already nearly the same size as its mum.
Lauren Mosgrove, 24, homed 30-inch pony Peaches in a field with Donk the donkey, who measured 53 inches.
Vets assured her it was impossible for the animals to breed due to their size difference, so she was stunned when Peaches, 11, gave birth to a donkey-mini horse cross last week.
Lauren, from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, reckons new arrival Katie is the only only animal of its kind in the world.
She said: “I felt a kick a few weeks ago when I was brushing Peaches and I knew she was pregnant.
“We got the vets to come and do a blood test which confirmed she was pregnant.
“We thought that the dad was my Shetland colt who we also had at the time, as he had broken through the fence on one occasion.
“About four weeks later I went down to see her and she was all sweaty and I knew the foal was coming.
“I ran to get my partner, I was only away two seconds, but when I got back I could see the head was popping out.
“We thought the foal was stuck because Peaches was pushing but she wasn’t coming out. But then all of a sudden it was there, and it was a big black donkey.
“I knew as soon as I saw the ears and the nose that it was a donkey – we couldn’t believe it.
“We were totally gobsmacked. We just stood there looking at each other scratching our heads.”
Lauren bought Peaches about three years ago after she and her partner Peter, 44, stepdaughter Paige, 11 and four-year-old son, Matthew, moved to a house with stables.
But mum Lauren, from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, was shocked when the pony gave birth to Katie just before midnight last Wednesday.
The couple didn’t realise how rare Katie – who is named after Lauren’s grandmother – was until she was told by vets.
She said: “When I told the vet he was gobsmacked too. I had to tell him twice. I don’t think he believed me at first.
“My vets say they’ve never dealt with anything like this or seen it.
“I think there’s one similar in the US but it’s bred with a standard Shetland and not a miniature Shetland, so I think Katie is the only one of her kind.”
Lauren says she hopes to keep mum Peaches and Katie together.
She said: “Katie is about 25 inches now, she has grown a lot in the last six days, so she is almost as tall as her mum now.
“She can be quite aggressive when she wants to feed, but Peaches is moving her leg up to make room for her now which is good.”