Many of you will have read about little Viola, her mother’s inability to feed her and subsequent transfer to our Italian Sanctuary, Il Rifugio degli Asinelli.
Fabrizio, our Italian Donkey Welfare Adviser, has kindly sent me an update with a picture of Viola with Daniela and a video of the foal enjoying her feed. It has not been plain sailing for Viola as she has struggled to gain weight. Our vets say that she was only a day or two away from death when she came in with a Body Condition Score of 1 due to being malnourished and underweight. A challenging situation for a six-day-old foal and our team at Il Rifugio who rose to the challenge with their usual compassion and love.
Viola has been fed 400ml of milk six times a day every three hours from 8am until midnight with each feed taking half an hour to give. A demanding routine for the small team at Il Rifugio but a necessary one to give Viola a chance of life.
Viola is strong and a fighter, so everybody remains positive that her future will be bright. It is unclear yet as to when she will go home and that decision will only be taken when everybody is sure she is able to cope.
Without our facilities in northern Italy Viola would have no future. The world is a vast place with millions of donkeys, many of whom need our help. Our resources are finite but we have reached 1.6 million donkeys in over 30 countries in the last year. They, like little Viola, are the lucky ones.