Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few days at our rescue centre in Italy. Il Rifugio degli Asinelli is situated in a beautiful location in the foothills of the Italian Alps, although on the day we arrived the fog was so thick we could not even see the end of the road! On the second day the sun shone and the views were incredible. The donkeys rescued from Colleferro earlier in the year could not have come to a nicer location.
Pictured here with me are Poldo and Quasar. All the donkeys were very friendly and you can see how inquisitive Quasar was while I was giving Poldo a quick cuddle.
It was wonderful for me to be able to see the progress being made with the very nervous mules who were rescued.
Marianna, one of the grooms in Italy, has recently spent two weeks in the UK working alongside Lil at Town Barton Farm and learning to handle some of the 150 mules we have here.
Then Lil went back to Italy with Marianna for two weeks to help her transfer those skills to the mules over there. Irene has progressed so much from when Emma visited back in April of this year and Marianna can now catch Irene and groom her all over.
The paddocks in which the donkeys and mules are have some beautiful trees that provide shade and the team have built protective frames around the tree trunks to stop the donkeys from stripping off the bark, which eventually kills the trees.