A handsome foal born at our sanctuary in Ireland during the COVID-19 lockdown has been appropriately named Lockie.

Lockie was born on Easter Monday (Monday 13 April) at The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland’s Hannigans Farm in Liscarroll.

His mum, Honeybee, was part of a rescue and came into our care already in foal, so we were unable to tell exactly when she was due. When she was examined by our Head of Veterinary Services, Laurence O’Sullivan on 7 April he knew Honeybee would soon start producing milk and it would not be long until her foal arrived.

On Easter Monday, our Head of Farms for Ireland, Declan Sexton, kept a close eye on the expectant mother, ensuring she was comfortable.

That evening, when he went to put Honeybee into her barn for the night, he noticed a dark shape standing behind her. It was a foal. The foal was still wet, and had been born within the last hour or two. He was bright and alert and even though he shyly stayed behind Honeybee, he moved about easily.

Honeybee and her foal named Lockie
Lockie the foal born on Easter Monday 2020
Lockie the foal born on Easter Monday 2020

Vet Nurse, Therese Riordan, arrived to check the mare and foal to ensure they were both in good health. Happily, all was fine as Honeybee’s foal suckled enthusiastically from her.

After the foal’s birth, talk quickly turned to name suggestions, and with the current movement restrictions around COVID-19, it was decided the handsome colt foal would be called Lockie.

Since he was born, Lockie has increased in confidence. He is full of energy and although he never strays far from Honeybee’s side, he skips and runs around their barn and yard.

Declan Sexton, said: “Lockie is thriving, he is full of beans and loves to bound around. He is still a little shy, but that is to be expected at this stage as he gets used to us. Honeybee is a great mother. She is very protective of her foal and shields him at all times. It is a joy to see the relationship of mare and foal grow as the days go by.”

He added: “The Donkey Sanctuary has a no breeding policy, but all foals born into our care are guaranteed a home for life, either here at one of our Sanctuaries or in one of our Guardian Homes.”

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland’s Liscarroll Farm is currently closed to members of the public and office based staff. Donkey-facing staff continue to work and provide the highest level of care and welfare to our resident donkeys and mule.

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