CHILDREN and staff at the Coach House Day Nursery in South Gorley had an unexpected surprise when a donkey decided it was the perfect spot to give birth.

The donkey, who is called Rosie, came up to a field near the nursery’s car park to bring her new arrival - a girl - into the world last Tuesday (July 4).

“It’s not every day this happens.” said nursery manager Caroline Paul, who is used to seeing different animals at the nursery’s site from donkeys and horses to cows that will sometimes come up to the doorstep of the nursery.

She said: “All the children were out playing in the field and one of them came rushing in saying ‘the baby is coming’.”

The staff and children looked on in awe as they watched Rosie but there were concerns she was struggling so Caroline, who is is a farmer’s daughter and very used to animal births, and a member of staff who is experienced with horses gave her a bit of assistance to bring the new arrival into the world.

“We just gave her a bit of assistance come the end,” she said. “Minimal intervention.”

They then all watched in amazement as the baby donkey started to gather its strength and spring into life, which Caroline says was like a scene out of Bambi as the youngster was a bit unsteady on her feet.

“The children loved it, it was quite a an experience for them. We explained what was happening. To see something give birth is quite special and made my day. She was a sweet little thing.”

Rosie the donkey spent the rest of the day at the nursery with her new baby and got ready to leave in time for Caroline to close the nursery.

“Often donkeys have their babies during the cover of darkness but the nursery was the place to be,” added Caroline. “We are so fortunate here with the animals.”

Rosie’s owner is giving the children at the nursery a chance to name the baby so the youngsters were busy at at its summer fete at the weekend coming up with different names beginning with the letter D. A name will be chosen out of a hat.