Donkey Sanctuary staff were amazed to hear from one of their project offices in India about the dramatic rescue of a donkey that had become trapped in an uncovered manhole.
The Donkey Sanctuary’s Solapur branch received a call from a concerned local man who reported seeing a donkey that had fallen down one of the many open manholes in the city. The animal was completely trapped with only its head visible and was clearly in distress.
Sanctuary vet Dr Satyajit Patil and Education Officer Suchitra Gadad arrived at the scene and discovered that the 15 year-old donkey was also blind. After several attempts to free the donkey, Dr Patil and a team of local people were able to lift her out of the manhole and to the safety of nearby level ground.
Suchitra Gadad explains the situation: “She was in a great deal of pain and unable to stand. We were able to give her painkillers and multi-vitamins and spent a considerable amount of time calming her down and making her more comfortable. After her ordeal she was clearly shaken and exhausted and we were keen to find her owner and encourage them to take better care of this poor donkey.
“Further veterinary examinations revealed that the donkey was also heavily pregnant although thankfully the unborn foal did not seem to be harmed.”
Having tracked down the donkey’s owner, Suchitra was able to explain what had happened and how vital it was for this donkey to be properly cared for. The owner explained that the donkey had only recently become blind and was no longer being used for work; she said she was sorry for her neglect and would watch closely over the donkey in the future. Suchitra revisited the owner’s home a week later and was thrilled to see the improvements that had been made; the donkey was now kept near the house in a safe environment.
Suchitra has also been trying to tackle the problem of uncovered manholes in Solapur. “They are often left open” she said. “I and other organisations recently gave a letter to the Municipal Commissioner, asking for the manholes which are left open to be closed.”
The Donkey Sanctuary’s overseas projects work with local communities to improve the lives of working donkeys and mules, using a combination of education programs and veterinary treatments.