Spring has sprung at international animal welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary, after they welcomed their first foal of the year.

The fluffy male foal has been exploring his new surroundings in the spring sunshine with his mother, a mare called Rachel, who was rescued by The Donkey Sanctuary in 2020.

The new arrival, who is yet to be named, is light grey in colour with a hint of brown, and has stripes on his legs that resemble long stripy socks. During his first outing, he spent time close to his mother, regularly feeding from her and lying down in the grass for short naps.
Rachel was in foal when she came into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary in April 2020. The mare was in a very poor condition and was relinquished along with five other donkeys after their basic welfare needs were not being met by their owner.

Like others in the group, her feet were overgrown and needed urgent farrier attention to alleviate the suffering they were causing. After arriving at the charity, further veterinary health checks revealed she was pregnant.

Neil Coles, Farm Manager at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “Rachel delivered her foal quickly, and with no complications. Our vet has checked over the mare and foal and is very happy with how they are both doing. Rachel has been a brilliant mum so far.

“It’s really lovely watching them enjoy the spring sunshine together, knowing that they will both have a safe and happy future with The Donkey Sanctuary.”

Staff will continued to monitor the mother and foal, who when he is old enough, will be introduced to other younger donkeys and form lasting friendships.
The Donkey Sanctuary, which is currently closed to visitors, has a no breeding policy. Foals born at the sanctuary are born to mares that have arrived already in foal.


For interviews, images and information please contact The Donkey Sanctuary press office on 01395 573124 or 07970 927778 (including out of hours) or send an email.

Notes to Editors

The new foal is located at Paccombe Farm, near Sidmouth, Devon, one of The Donkey Sanctuary’s outlying farms which isn’t open to the public and therefore not in public view.

The Donkey Sanctuary is the world's largest equine welfare charity. Our vision is a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued. We run 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules. Our hospital treats sick donkeys and trains vets both nationwide and worldwide. Our donkey-facilitated learning programme helps vulnerable children and adults develop life skills by connecting with donkeys on an emotional and physical level. The charity operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation, and those used in the production of meat and skin.

Please note that the name ‘The Donkey Sanctuary’ should not be abbreviated to ‘Donkey Sanctuary’, and the word ‘The’ should always appear with a capital ‘T’ as above.