A new foal has been born at the Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary this month. She is the 10,000th donkey to be cared for by the charity in the UK since it started rescuing donkeys in 1969.
Francesca was born on 2nd October and she has recently been moved to 'Beach Boxes' at the Sanctuary so that visitors can meet her and her mother, Rosie.
Maxine Carter, manager of the Sidmouth farm says: "It's wonderful to have a baby in our care! It's quite a rare occasion for us as we have a non-breeding policy and only have foals if a donkey is taken in already pregnant. In fact, the last foal born at the Sanctuary was Moses in April 2007.
Francesca is a beautiful, playful young lady and I’m sure the visitors will agree that she is just adorable."
Francesca has been named, by the Sanctuary's founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, after Saint Francis' feast day, which is observed on October 4 each year.
Rosie and another donkey were relinquished to the Sanctuary as their owner was in poor health and couldn't provide suitable care for her donkeys. Rosie was slightly underweight when she arrived and required treatment for lice and a visit from the Sanctuary's dentist.
Like all donkeys taken in at The Donkey Sanctuary, Francesca and Rosie have a Sanctuary for life and are guaranteed loving, expert care under the charity's donkey charter.
The Donkey Sanctuary is open 365 days a year from 9.00 am until dusk. During the half-term school holidays, activities including donkey walking and grooming and Halloween themed children's workshops will be taking place.