A number of adorable, long-eared new arrivals are currently settling in at Mabe-based donkey sanctuary, The Flicka Foundation.

Despite being forced to close the sanctuary’s gates to visitors in March due to the ongoing situation, it’s been business as usual as far as the charity’s work rescuing and caring for donkeys is concerned.

Director, Judy Giles, said: “We still do not have clarity on when we may be able to re-open to visitors, so this remains an incredibly worrying time for us, but our vital rescue work must continue.

"We regularly receive calls to help donkeys in desperate need and we just simply cannot turn them away.”

Amongst Flicka’s newest arrivals was Buttons. Buttons was in a desperately sad situation; recently separated from his bonded companion, denied proper veterinary care and kept alone in squalid conditions in an old, broken-down trailer.

Falmouth Packet:

Buttons on arrival

The team at Flicka also recently jumped into action to save Nutmeg, who was being kept in a similar situation; isolated and in appalling conditions. Nutmeg’s feet had been so neglected that she badly struggled to walk.

Two sweet-natured, older donkeys named Peggy and Dolly, along with miniature mother and daughter pair, Tinsel and Sparkle, also needed new homes and urgent veterinary care when their owners could no longer care for them.

Falmouth Packet:

Buttons makes a new friend

Unsurprisingly, many of the donkeys that find their way to safety at The Flicka Foundation are in a poor state of health on arrival. Experts at the charity say they see severely undernourished donkeys, with untreated infections, badly overgrown hooves and serious dental problems, which are a clear sign of the neglect they have suffered.

The charity reports that all its new arrivals are recovering well, gaining in confidence and starting to show their cheeky, individual personalities.

They will soon be able to join the sanctuary’s other residents in peaceful retirement with all their specialised needs catered for by an experienced team.

They will have the freedom to spend their days exactly as they please - grazing in a choice of paddocks, relaxing in the sunshine or hanging out in one of the purpose built, cosy donkey barns.

Falmouth Packet:

Buttons meets Walter

The charity has also been involved in saving over a dozen donkeys from certain death on the continent over the past few months and is appealing for help to continue its work during the current global pandemic. Its sanctuary site usually welcomes thousands of visitors through its gates each year and visitor donations, as well as vital income from the charity’s Tea Room and Gift Cabin, are used to feed and care for the animals.

Essential medications for the sanctuary’s residents currently cost £1,500 per month and their feed alone totals another £4000 monthly, so The Flicka Foundation says they are now urgently seeking funds from elsewhere to enable them to continue to care for their rescued animals.

“A number of kind people have been donating and we really, truly appreciate this support - now, more than ever.” said Judy. “We don’t yet know how long this situation will last or the long-term devastating effects it may have on our charity, but we do know that we simply must continue to be there for the donkeys that desperately need us.”