Clementine is ‘darling’ of tourists; Beauty has fans, too

Published 12:33 am Saturday, July 13, 2013

Devin and Matthew Loflin were among those who have stopped to pet Beauty.

Devin and Matthew Loflin were among those who have stopped to pet Beauty.

Move over, Big Shirt. It looks like there’s a new big tourist draw in the area – Clementine and Beauty.

The four-legged animals, who reside in the spacious green next to the county’s newest Gitty-Up-N-Go station, are the darlings of travelers up and down U.S. Hwy. 29. They are owned by Andalusia resident Mark Harper, according to Gitty-Up-N-Go owner Chris Mohon.

“Those two are pretty popular,” Mohon said of Clementine the donkey and Beauty the horse.

“Popular” really isn’t a true description of the duo, according Lea Harrod. Harrod, a cashier at Gitty-Up-N-Go, said the animals provide a much-needed – and sometimes comedic – relief for weary travelers who stop at the store for gas and snacks.

“Mostly people are amazed at how friendly they are,” Harrod said of the animals. “Maybe they don’t have donkeys and horses where they’re from? I don’t know. People are amazed at how cute and friendly Clementine is. Everybody loves to watch him chase his tale.”

Word is the two are fans of carrots.

And while the novelty of petting a donkey and a horse may seem silly to Alabamians, there are many people who have never seen these type animals up close.

In fact, the closest some have ever been to a donkey is watching the Disney movie “Shrek,” let alone ever had the opportunity to pet one.

Among those tourists meeting the critters this week were Devin and Matthew Loflin, who were traveling back from the beach to their Oak Ridge, Tenn., home.

“I never knew their noses were so soft,” Devin said as he petted the horse and watched as Clementine enjoyed a snack.