URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois veterinarians are helping bring back an endangered breed of donkey. There are fewer than 500 of them in the world right now. The breed is called Baudet du Poitou. They’re originally from France and are known for being very strong. That breed was used back in the day to pull cannons during war.

“We would like to help with the conservation of the actual breed, but also because they’re useful for the production of mules. The mules have been used in farms and also for war, so we would like to incentivize their use,” said Dr. Giorgia Podico.

Two of these donkeys will now travel to Vermont to be part of a rescue sanctuary. They are both pregnant and should give birth in late spring.