Tentative first steps for new-born foal

The new born foal and his mother, Rachel

The new born foal and his mother, Rachel - Credit: The Donkey Sanctuary

Spring has sprung at international animal welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary, after they welcomed their first foal of the year.

The fluffy male foal has been exploring his new surroundings at Paccombe Farm, near Sidmouth (an outlying farm which isn’t open to the public), in the spring sunshine with his mother, a mare called Rachel, who was rescued by The Donkey Sanctuary in 2020.

The new born foal and his mother, Rachel

The new born foal and his mother, Rachel - Credit: The Donkey Sanctuary


The new arrival, who is yet to be named, is light grey in colour with a hint of brown, and has stripes on his legs that resemble long stripy socks. During his first outing, he spent time close to his mother, regularly feeding from her and lying down in the grass for short naps.

Rachel was in foal when she came into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary in April 2020. The mare was in a very poor condition and was relinquished along with five other donkeys after their basic welfare needs were not being met by their owner.

Like others in the group, her feet were overgrown and needed urgent farrier attention to alleviate the suffering they were causing. After arriving at the charity, further veterinary health checks revealed she was pregnant.

The new born foal and his mother, Rachel

The new born foal and his mother, Rachel - Credit: The Donkey Sanctuary


Neil Coles, Farm Manager at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “Rachel delivered her foal quickly, and with no complications. Our vet has checked over the mare and foal and is very happy with how they are both doing. Rachel has been a brilliant mum so far.

“It’s really lovely watching them enjoy the spring sunshine together, knowing that they will both have a safe and happy future with The Donkey Sanctuary.”

Staff will continue to monitor the mother and foal who, when he is old enough, will be introduced to other younger donkeys and form lasting friendships.

The new born foal and his mother, Rachel

The new born foal and his mother, Rachel - Credit: The Donkey Sanctuary


The Donkey Sanctuary, which is currently closed to visitors, has a no-breeding policy. Foals born at the sanctuary are born to mares that have arrived already in foal. All are guaranteed a home for life, either at one of the charity’s sanctuaries, or in a guardian home on The Donkey Sanctuary’s rehoming scheme.

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