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Special head protection

Pepper is one of our resident donkeys living at Paccombe Farm. She is totally blind and wears a "head bumper" to protect her from any knocks.

Tracey Warren, one of the grooms, says: "Pepper is an adorable donkey and follows you everywhere. She loves her food and is often spotted trying to get into the feed room!"

Pepper, now aged 29, came into the Sanctuary in 1987 and despite being blind, is enjoying her retirement at the Sanctuary with her group of friends who all look after her.

Charente distress

At the end of August we were contacted about a donkey with an appalling eye infection in the Charante region of France. This is nearly 5 hours north of our French holding base. However, we thought it sounded so serious that Jan Lemmy at our holding base and a colleague left immediately to try to locate the poor donkey described to them as being in an enormous amount of pain with an eye so infected it was the size of a tennis ball!

Jan later wrote:

Winter warmth

First thing first... you may all remember that my best friend was taken into hospital and after receiving all the get well messages from you, Lady is feeling better and almost back to her normal self. Occasionally I wander off to bray with the other donkeys and catch up with the latest news, but am never far from her side.

Will you marry me?

That was the question Paul Frostwick from Norfolk asked his girlfriend on Saturday with the help of two special donkeys!

After being together for 9 years, Paul decided he wanted to pop the question to Sally with the help of Teddy (aged 12) and Sally (aged 31), two donkeys he had seen during previous visits with the perfect names for such an occasion!

Will you marry me?

The 'stealth mules' of world war

"Before hi-tech fighter jets with the capability to avoid detection, there was the "stealth mule" writes Steven McKenzie, Highlands and Islands reporter, on the BBC Scotland website.

He tells us how their voice boxes were removed to keep them silent behind enemy lines during World War II. The operation itself was called the "Hobday's operation", after the veterinary surgeon who developed the technique.

A slow rythmic sound

After a busy day, it's time to head home. I get into my car and pull away from the car park. Already it's dark and I can see the outlines of donkeys grazing in a field along the roadside.

I wonder what the donkeys on the Main Yard are doing and quickly decide to stop off and see them before going home.

It's all quiet. All the visitors have gone for the day. As I walk towards the Visitors' Centre, the red glow of the heat lamps in the barn come into view opposite.


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