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  1. ITV Report

Long in the tooth: Britain's oldest donkey is soon to celebrate her birthday in Cornwall

Pepper is ageing well. Credit: Idenna

Pepper, who lives in Cornwall, is thought to be the country's oldest donkey.

She has lived in Cornwall since 1984 when she was first brought to Dairyland Farm Park in Newquay. It is believed that she was born in the late 1960s, making her more than 50 years old - exceeding twice the lifespan of an average donkey.

Pepper's passport is officially dated as 1975 yet vets believe she is more than 50 years old.

If our vet’s prediction is accurate, we believe Pepper could be the oldest donkey in the UK, ever! It’s very unusual for a donkey to reach 50 and we think the secret to her long life is individual care and an enriching environment.

– Team member at Dairyland Farm Park, Newquay

A member of the team said: "We’ve always known she was very old, but we asked our vet if she could age Pepper so we could be more accurate. It turns out she’s definitely in her 50’s which makes her one of, if not the, oldest donkey in the whole country."

Pepper’s lifespan has exceeded all expectations, outliving many of her peers.

– Team member at Dairyland Farm Park, Newquay
Despite her tough start in life, Pepper has had 35 years at Dairyland farm. Credit: Idenna

Before arriving at Dairyland, Pepper was 'feral' due to mistreatment. Although human interaction was not easy at first, she soon settled in. Those who look after her at the farm say that she loves children and attention.

Despite her tough start in life, Pepper has had 35 years at Dairyland farm and has even had two foals of her own.

Pepper was 'feral' due to mistreatment before she moved to Dairyland. Credit: Idenna

A donkey's average lifespan is 25 to 30 years. The oldest donkey in the world, Suzy, was from America. According to the Guinness World Records, she lived to the age of 54. Britain's oldest donkey died at 53 in 2017.