By Donkey Sanctuary Cyprus Outreach Team
Our Sanctuary in Cyprus has been busy this summer, carrying out ‘outreach visits’ to over 60 villages helping to provide vital treatment to working donkeys and mules, and educational support to owners.
Treatments include wound care, farriery, dentistry and health checks, whilst advice given can be anything such as feeding tips, foaling preparation and care, and stabling.
Staff recently visited two elderly ladies, Panagiota (85) and her sister Elpiniki (86) in a village just outside of the Paphos District. Their two donkeys, Aristotelos and Domna, are very much loved and are used every day for carrying fruit, vegetables, fire wood, shopping as well as food for the donkeys.
The sisters are always pleased to see us each year, give us all a big hug and give us their blessings. Mind you a few years ago, they and some of the other elderly ladies in the village who owned donkeys asked us for head collars.
We had some to spare that were different colours. A big argument broke out between them as they all wanted the same colour! This year, we made sure we took only blue so there were no disagreements. It’s sad to think that in a few years there will be very few people on the island still using their donkeys this way.
In another village nearby, we were able to provide help to a local donkey owner, Prokopis, who loans his donkeys out to other people. The owner is conscious of donkey welfare, and always makes sure his donkeys are looked after and treated well by those who loan them.
We checked all of the donkeys teeth, and rasped any sharp edges to make them more comfortable, and also gave their feet some attention.