When you adopt a donkey as a gift for someone this Christmas, you are helping us be there for donkeys when they need it most.

Zena, for example, was born right here at the sanctuary in Sidmouth, and we have been proud to watch her grow and develop into a happy, healthy donkey full of character. But her start in life was much more of a challenge.

We don’t breed here at the sanctuary but it’s always a heart-warming sight to see a newborn foal with its mother. However, born three weeks premature, Zena’s early days were a struggle.

After she arrived, staff found her curled up in the corner of the stable, lying almost motionless in the straw. We knew something wasn't quite right and after an assessment, one of our vets, Elena Barrio, verified that Zena’s back legs were too weak to support her.

Unable to stand or walk, we had to be on hand at two-hourly intervals to ensure Zena could stand up and feed from her mum.

We bandaged her back legs to give them added strength and carried out a number of x-rays and tests to rule out any serious conditions.

Thanks to the hard work from everyone involved, within about a week she was able to stand on her back legs and feed from her mum, Flora, who remained brilliantly calm and patient throughout.

She’s now grown into a bright, playful donkey, who you’d never guess had been through such difficulties. She can be found at our Sidmouth sanctuary, usually with her best friends Ashley and Mr Khan.

Adopt Zena for someone you love this Christmas and help ensure lifelong care for her and her friends here at The Donkey Sanctuary.

Adoption donkey Zena with collar
Zena is now a happy and healthy donkey living at The Donkey Sanctuary.
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