For the last couple of years I’ve walked past this sculpture thinking, “What the …?”, but it all made sense once I learned the backstory of the piece.

This sculpture is called Primrose, and was created by Canadian artist Myfanwy MacLeod. Primrose is located in Clover Hill Park, at the entrance to U of T’s St. Michael’s College (Bay Street and St. Joseph Street). The work is based on an actual baby donkey named Primrose who was born prematurely in 2012 at the Bind Equine Veterinary Practice in Shropshire, England. Primrose’s underdeveloped bones would have led to permanently bowed legs, so local vets put some custom pink casts on her to straighten them out. It took about three weeks for the foal to start walking on her own, but not before she had captured hearts worldwide as the “wonky donkey” from England.

The artist, Myfanwy MacLeod, is known for other large animal sculptures in Canada, most notably the pair of giant sparrows, titled The Birds, in the 2010 Olympic Village in Vancouver.

And… here’s the real, live Primrose herself!