At The Donkey Sanctuary in Birmingham we have been trying out new forms of enrichment to keep our donkeys stimulated, happy and healthy. Now the weather has got warmer and the donkeys have been grazing in the fields, our staff have tried out three new ways to give the donkeys novel and exciting tastes and smells in the fields.
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Adrian Greenwood is assistant retail and catering manager for The Donkey Sanctuary charity shop in Otley, Leeds. He’s also helping raise funds for The Donkey Sanctuary by joining the thousands of sponsored cyclists taking part in the 2017 Prudential RideLondon, the 100-mile bike ride held this July. Here, he discusses his training regime for the challenge ahead.
Just like Dr Dolittle, I bet you talk to your animals and some of you may say your animals talk right back! Many of our fabulous staff and volunteers at The Sanctuary can be heard deep in conversation with their donkey friends – who are very good listeners! Up until a few years ago researchers would say such behaviour had no place in science. However, animal welfare science has come on in leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades and it is now accepted that, in order to find out what an animal likes and dislikes, one just has to ask. And how do we do this?
The Donkey Sanctuary’s team in Spain is currently taking special care of a newborn foal who is starting life with a struggle.
Indiana was born under the care of El Refugio Del Burrito last week and has found it difficult to suckle. His mother, Strawberry, was abandoned into the Sanctuary’s care while she was pregnant, along with another donkey called Cacahuete.
Indiana was very weak and could not feed from his mother by himself, so the team took them both to an equine hospital in Cordoba which has an equine neonatal unit.
Sally, the mule, is now living at our Town Barton Farm, where she is free to relax, play and roam safely in the company of her new friend Pilgrim. Sadly life had not always been this way for Sally.
When I first met her, she was living in what can only be described as squalor, she was stood in thick mud, with no food, water or clean resting area. The environment she roamed in was full of hazards which could have caused her serious injury.
Lifelong friends Alfie and Jemima, came into our care following a joint operation involving Derbyshire police, the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare and Bransby Horses.
Unfortunately their owners had failed to act upon the advice and guidance given to them by welfare agencies and with the situation worsening, a more direct approach needed to be taken.