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The life and times of Hercule Poitou and his friends...

On a freezing cold Monday morning, after a playful hour with the six little donkeys, Phil and I went straight up to Buffalo Barn, to the Poitou donkeys. Here on the Sanctuary website there is a lot of information about this rare breed of donkey, as well as information about the limited breeding programme that was set up here by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen. Now of course we also have the webcam, so people can watch this lovely group of donkeys from the comfort of their homes or from the screen in the Hayloft Restaurant here at the Sanctuary.

Gilbert enjoying the November sunshine

Fun and games with the donkeys!

A chilled yet peaceful silence lay over the Sanctuary this morning, with not a single donkey in sight nor a braying to be heard anywhere. It was one of those mornings that looks deceptively warm - until you step into the icy coldness of the outdoors. Muffled with scarves and gloves, Phil and I made our way to Shelter 3 and the blind/partially-sighted donkeys. There they were in the barn-warm cosiness, chomping contentedly on their winter-feed.

Two donkeys playing tag with a collar

All change!

The clocks have changed – and so have a number of other things here at the Donkey Sanctuary. Nothing drastic you understand, but little things like, “Where are the little donkeys NOW???” Phil and I trooped over to Salston Boxes to say good morning to Ashley, Zena and Mr Khan and instead of seeing them bouncing playfully around the paddock, we found Mr Nedd, Hugo and Eros dozing in the early morning sunshine! The only evidence of the little donks ever being there was Ashley's discarded welly boot lying by the fence.

Jubilee's tenderness towards other animals

Almost everyone who visits the Sanctuary will meet Jubilee. If Billy is, “King of the Yard”, surveying all that goes on from one of the stable doorways, it's Jubilee who quietly gets on with the job of meeting, greeting and socialising with the visitors. Jubilee will happily pose for photographs, have his back scratched, be cuddled and hugged for the entire day and never grow tired of being with people - for you see Jubilee loves people almost as much as people love him.

A walk with Rosie and Thistle

The views across the valley towards Harcombe and Paccombe from the leafy track behind Oakley Barn this morning were sublime. Vivid yellow splashes mixed with rusty oranges and vermilion reds sprawled out in a leafy pattern across the hills, softly lit by the rays of a low autumn sun. Apart from the cawing of rooks and the occasional shriek of a high-flying seagull, the only sound Phil and I could hear were the soft and steady footfalls of the two donkeys who were sharing this beautiful day with us.

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