Something amazing happened to a farmer in Ireland one morning in 2013. The name of the farmer was Cormac Williams. Williams owned a pet donkey. Charmingly named Tulip, the donkey was eight-years-old.
Williams knew Tulip was pregnant, and he expected Tulip to be the proud mother of a beautiful foal sometime soon. However, Williams was in for a wonderful surprise. Around Christmas time, Tulip went into labor.
The surprise that greeted Williams was the number of baby donkeys he discovered that cold morning. Williams expected only one foal. Imagine his surprise when he looked down to discover foal twins! Tulip was lovingly licking her new daughters in her stall.
The twin birth was almost a Christmas miracle for Tulip and Williams. Spending much of his life around donkeys, Williams knew a twin birth for a donkey in any season was an exceedingly rare occurrence.
“It’s a once in a lifetime event that you get two live twins,” he later reported happily to the Irish Examiner. Twins are extremely rare in donkeys, with only a few pairs currently known in the world.”
Williams decided to give the twin donkeys names that fit with the wintry morning he discovered them cuddled near their mother. He named one of Tulip’s foals Snow. He named the other one Flake. Thanks to their adorable names, everyone will know the foals are twins, and people will know what season of the year these two foals started their mortal journey.
Williams was delighted to discover the twin foals, but he was also a little bit anxious to make the discovery. Knowing more than a little about donkeys, Williams understood many twins from donkey mothers aren’t able to survive very long. He understood there was a very real possibility one of the foals might not make it. Would Snow pass away? Would Flake never be able to experience her first birthday?
Thankfully, after two weeks, both Snow and Flake were thriving, and Williams was able to put his fears comfortably to rest. It wasn’t much longer until the two foals were “scampering around like gazelles” on Williams’ farm. With 35 acres of land on his farm, Williams was confident the two foals would have plenty of space to roam. Even better, he knew each foal would have the company of a sister and a mother as the animals romped around inside of all of that space.
Williams is thrilled to share the news about the twins. After all, it is a big deal Tulip was able to be the mother of twin foals. According to some statistics, only 1.7 percent of donkey births result in twins like Snow and Flake. By comparison, a human mother has about a 3.4 percent change of having twins. Williams is also pleased to use the celebrity status of his foals to bring about an increased understanding of donkeys. For example, did you know donkeys are no longer used for farm work? Instead, they are used increasingly as farm companions and household pets!
“The days of the working donkey are gone, but they’re great as pets, they’re gentle animals, and in winter, they’re great for foraging and keeping down the weeds.” \
In other words, according to Williams, these friendly animals are great for keeping company and helping out with the yard work.
What are your thoughts about Tulip’s new family? Did you know that donkeys rarely have twins? After learning about Tulip, Snow, and Flake, would you be willing to have a donkey as a pet? Let us know below! Afterwards, don’t forget to share Tulip’s story with your friends.