Zena is the newest addition to our Adopt a Donkey scheme and we’re raring to tell you all about her.
Born right here at the Sanctuary, we’ve seen this adorable lady develop in both strength and character.
She’s been devoted to her best friend Ashley since the day they were introduced and now you can find out all about their friendship. Discover how Zena can be part of your life and how to adopt her.
There’s no doubt that Zena is a special lady and if you’ve ever visited us here in Sidmouth you might have spotted her in Shelter 4 along with Ashley. They are the best of friends who first met each other when they were just a few weeks old.
Zena has now joined her best friend on the adoption scheme, which means you can become part of her life forever.
Born three weeks premature, Zena had a difficult start to life
She is a beautiful, fluffy lady, who just happens to be the 21st donkey to join the scheme – a fitting number seeing as we celebrate the scheme's 21st anniversary this year.
Born three weeks premature, Zena had a difficult start to life. We don’t breed here at the Sanctuary but it’s always a heart-warming sight to see a new-born foal with its mother, especially when you get to see them grow and develop into their own distinct characters.
After she arrived, staff found her curled up in the corner of the stable, lying almost motionless in the straw. We knew something was amiss and after a quick 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. Not only was this essential for her health and survival but it also provided a form of physiotherapy.
We also 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.
Within about a week she was able to stand on her back legs and reach her mum’s udder, much to our delight. It must have also been a relief for her mum Flora, who remained brilliantly calm and patient throughout.
Zena forms a friend for life
We had three foals that were born around the same time – Zena, Ashley and Mr Khan. When they were ready, we put them together in the same paddock along with their respective mums and Ashley’s foster mum Breda.
This is a great way for foals to interact and play together, and needless to say an early bond was formed.
Mischievous Ashley was definitely the leader when they were all foals. In fact, Zena and Mr Khan would follow him everywhere and even try to drink out of Ashley’s milk bowl. These days, you are most likely to see them tearing around their paddock together.
While Ashley is still playful, Zena loves to explore and survey her surroundings – you can often catch her watching the others in the group or observing the volunteers and staff as they carry out their daily tasks.
Ashley often tries to grab her collar while they are grooming each other, which is one of their favourite pastimes, as well as a sign of affection. However, Zena doesn’t really enjoy it when Ashley tries to pull her around by her collar and soon walks off, leaving Ashley looking a little disappointed.
They get on with the rest of the herd but wherever Zena is, Ashley is never far behind. They also love to help the staff and volunteers and if anything is left lying around you can almost guarantee they will be walking off with the grooming buckets or brushes in their teeth.
Ashley and Zena are an inspirational pair who have overcome the odds.
Donkeys strike up a very close bond with their friends and if possible should never be separated.
It has been a joy to watch these donkeys mature over the years. They love receiving fuss and attention from staff and visitors, which is why we decided Zena would make the ideal adoption donkey.
Now that you’ve heard all about our latest adoption donkey Zena, we’re sure you’ll want to be part of her life. Head over to our Adopt a Donkey page and be one of the first to adopt her.