When it comes to elderly donkeys you often see pairs of friends who have known each other for a very long time. Donkey pals are often relinquished to The Donkey Sanctuary together and then remain with each other throughout their lives with us.
Charlie C, an ex-adoption donkey here in Birmingham, had a long-standing friend called Donk Dean for many years before he lost him in 2015. For a long time Charlie kept himself to himself, interacting with the other donkeys in general but not making any particular close friends in his old age. Charlie is now 25 and, one day, a relatively new donkey called Bert came trotting over to him to play... this was the start of a new friendship for Charlie C.
Bert is an 11 year old big, brown donkey who came to Birmingham after having originally been abandoned in Ireland. At times a little timid, Bert has always been good friends with two donkeys called Jimmy and Skittles. There must have been something about Charlie that made him think that Charlie would be a good play mate. Usually the grooms who look after Charlie would expect him to walk off and give Bert the cold shoulder – but lo and behold Charlie and Bert started playing tug-of-war with a welly!
The staff have been watching Bert and Charlie’s friendship grow over the weeks and it is lovely to watch them running around together, playing with toys and having ‘rough and tumble’ time. Bert has given Charlie a boost after losing his friend and entering his ‘golden years', and Charlie has brought Bert out of his shell and given him a way to release his boisterous energy.
Here are a few photos of new friends Bert and Charlie cuddling outside and playing in the arena. Here’s hoping that their lovely friendship lasts over many years to come.