Lockdown life at The Donkey Sanctuary

Jonty has his teeth checked - The Donkey Sanctuary

Jonty has his teeth checked - The Donkey Sanctuary - Credit: The Donkey Sanctuary

Staff at the Sidmouth attraction are busy providing the highest level of care for the resident donkeys and mules during the lockdown, and recently, they even adapted a barn into a temporary surgical room for a medical emergency.

When Jonty the donkey needed urgent attention to remove a problem tooth, the grooms collaborated with the veterinary team to ensure he got the care and attention he needed.

To reduce the stress of transporting Jonty to the charity’s donkey hospital near Honiton, staff improvised a surgical room in his barn at Sidmouth, ensuring the procedure could be carried out in a comfortable and reassuring environment to him.

When the time came for the operation itself, the veterinary surgeon was assisted by the veterinary nurse who, incidentally, happened to be his partner.

Conveniently, this meant the pair were not restricted by social distancing requirements and were able to work near to each other, to ensure Jonty received the best care possible.

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Aside from its own medical emergencies, the international charity has been donating some personal protection equipment (PPE) to local NHS workers, including to staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and to groups providing community healthcare.

Its generosity was also extended during the Easter holiday, too, when it donated 3,000 chocolate eggs to the Sid Valley Food Bank.

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To keep the public in touch with all the activities at The Donkey Sanctuary during lockdown, two incredibly successful Facebook live broadcasts named ‘Sanctuary From Your Sofa’ were streamed.

This gave people a virtual visitor experience and an opportunity to see the resident donkeys. For a daily catch up, several of the webcams around the Sidmouth sanctuary are switched on and functional, enabling people to watch the giant Poitou donkeys at Buffalo Barn, the main herd in the heart of the sanctuary and the Miniature Mediterranean donkeys.

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