In April, staff from the Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary worked with project leaders at the Lamu Sanctuary to hold a competition to find the best donkeys owners in Lamu, an island near mainland Kenya.
The prize for ‘Best in Show’ 2010 has been awarded to Abdala Hamid for his donkey, Cheusi. After the competition, Abdala was given a rosette and small prize in a presentation ceremony in front of an appreciative crowd.
Abdala says: “I bought Cheusi after seeing that she was in a relatively bad condition and needed a new owner to look after her; I was drawn to her unusual colour. I love Cheusi and enjoy taking care of her; I like to give her the best and am proud to have won this competition.”
The remote island of Lamu is home to only two cars, all other transport on the island is undertaken by donkeys which is why The Donkey Sanctuary has been working hard since 1987 to improve conditions for the 2,200 donkeys who live there.
The charity has been instrumental in greatly reducing harmful traditional practices on the island such as burning donkeys with hot irons to treat illnesses. By providing a combination of animal welfare education and veterinary treatments, the Sanctuary hopes to put an end to these practices entirely.
One method that has proved successful in raising awareness of the need for good animal care is the Lamu Donkey Competition where locals put their donkeys forward to win the coveted title of ‘Best in Show’.
The Donkey Sanctuary has a small sanctuary on the island of Lamu where donkeys in need of daily treatment can stay until they are well enough to return to work.