A quick-thinking groom helped a donkey deliver her foal safely after one of its front legs became stuck during birth.

Lisa Coles with Abbie's foal

Lisa Coles with the newborn foal

The mare, called Abbie, went into labour on a Tuesday evening in early June, and when groom Lisa Coles went to check on her, she quickly realised that one of the foal’s front legs was stuck. Lisa could see that Abbie was struggling and knew that she had to do something fast to help her.

Lisa gently held the foal and was able to free its leg, helping Abbie to deliver her baby safely.

Neil Coles, one of our Farm Managers, said: “Lisa did brilliantly and helped Abbie deliver the foal safely. She acted quickly when time was of the essence, and without her actions, Abbie could have got into real difficulty.”

After being checked over by one of our vets, both mother and daughter were given a clean bill of health. The pair were out in the sunshine the following day, where the fluffy, grey youngster, who is yet to be named, could begin to explore her new surroundings.

Abbie was in foal when we relinquished her into our care in September 2020. She was discovered running free with her previous foal, Timmy, alongside the busy A47 near Norwich.

The donkeys were separated from the fast-moving traffic by just a thin hedge. They could have easily found themselves in a very dangerous situation and posed a real risk to drivers if they’d escaped onto the busy dual carriageway.

After arriving at The Donkey Sanctuary, veterinary checks revealed that Abbie was expecting a foal.

When Abbie’s foal is old enough, we will introduce her to other donkeys of a similar age. We hope that she will find a new home through our Rehoming Scheme and start a new life with a Donkey Guardian one day.

We have a no breeding policy. Foals born at our sanctuaries are only born to mares that have arrived already in foal.

With your support, we can continue to help donkeys in need