As Valentines Day approaches remember that animals have feelings too. Mokey and Leah, resident donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary forged a friendship 12 years ago and are still bonded to each other.
Mokey and Leah are both 27 years old and they live at Brookfield Farm, one of the Sanctuary’s farms near Honiton. 12 years ago Mokey’s companion sadly passed away and he was left heartbroken. Typical of a grieving donkey, he went off his food and the grooms who cared for him were worried.
As Mokey’s depression continued his groom, Sue Letheren, made it her mission to try and find him a new friend. She introduced him to several other single donkeys (also looking for friends) but he was not interested. Mokey was in danger of becoming seriously ill, as he continued to refuse food because he was pining for his lost friend. But when Mokey was introduced to Leah it was love at first sight.
Sue says “It was incredible to watch, his ears pricked up as soon as he saw Leah and he followed her around everywhere; he was completely besotted! We were all relieved to see Mokey tucking into a bowl of food with his new friend, and 12 years later they still have an incredible friendship. It is a heart warming story which just proves how strongly donkeys form bonds with each other.”
The Donkey Sanctuary, established since 1969, is a centre of excellence on the care and welfare of donkeys and is currently caring for over 3,000 rescued donkeys in the UK alone.
Donkey Friendship Facts
- Donkeys develop strong emotional attachments with their companions which has implications for their management.
- Donkeys can form lifelong friendships and do not like to be kept alone.
- It is recommended that they are kept with a companion, preferably another donkey.
- Donkeys can bond very closely and may become distressed if separated, even for a short while.
- Bonded donkeys need to be kept together at all times unless directed otherwise by a Vet ,as separation can cause stress and increase the possibility of serious medical consequences.