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The island of île de Ré, or Rhea in English, lies just off the coast of France near La Rochelle and is a popular destination for many reasons.

The population swells to ten times its normal size in the summer when tourists flock here to relax on the sandy beaches and make the most of the warm micro-climate and gentle breezes.

They also come to see the best dressed donkeys in the world.

RELATED: Experience the charms of the south of France

The Poitou breed of donkey is named after the area of France from where it originates, and is one of the largest in the world, hence why they were brought to work on the islands in the first place.

They are also famous for their long scraggy coats, which hang down in dreadlock like strands.

They were used in the salt industry, which can cause painful damage to the skin, so a local woman had the ingenious idea of designing trousers for their front and back legs.

The pants were made from old striped or chequered material, giving them the name Anes en Culotte (donkeys in panties) and protected them from bug bites and wounds.

The Poitou donkeys no longer work in the salt marshes, but they do…

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