The Basuto ponies, said to be descended from Shetland ponies which, imported to the Cape in 1840, strayed into the mountains, are short-legged, strong-bodied, sure-footed, and noted for their hardiness.
Both Noss and Bressay are utilized in connexion with the rearing of Shetland ponies.
Shorthorns and polled Angus are the commonest breeds of cattle; the sheep are mostly Cheviots and a Cheviot-Leicester cross, but the native sheep are still reared in considerable numbers in Hoy and South Ronaldshay; pigs are also kept on several of the islands, and the horses - as a rule hardy, active and small, though larger than the famous Shetland ponies - are very numerous, but mainly employed in connexion with agricultural work.
Ponies range in height from 14 hands down to 8 hands, Shetland ponies eligible for the Stud-Book not exceeding the latter.
The shetland ponies are rescue animals re-homed at the park in 1999.