The wonders of life at Aruba's Donkey Sanctuary

Submitted by Mimi Medinaroulette-a-couple-of-hours-old-3-jan-27-2009_2

There is never a dull day at Aruba’s Donkey Sanctuary, where donkeys are having the time of their lives. Often having been maltreated or malnourished in the past, these formerly roaming animals are living in the lap of luxury nowadays, getting medication, food and lots of attention from volunteers and visitors alike at the shelter. Donkeys are lovely creatures: intelligent and often very funny indeed.

A newsletter keeps ‘adoptive donkey parents’ and those interested in the shelter abreast of the goings-on and antics of the animals. This story is about the birth of little Prince, son of Queeny and brother of Princessa. His birth was witnessed by the vice-president of the Save the Donkey foundation, Desiree, who happened to wake up at 4.30 am. When she heard lots of dogs barking and unusual noises in the coral, she went out to check and found pregnant mare Queeny with a small head and two legs sticking out of her. Desiree was awed and overjoyed when, at 5 am, Prince was born. After much nuzzling and urging from Queeny he stood up, this fuzzy, cute creature took his first, wobbly steps.

Prince came on the heels of Roulette, a baby donkey who was born on January 27. That same day the shelter got two visitors, Larry and Monica, who were celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary on Aruba. The two decided on the spot that, instead of buying costly jewelry to mark the festive occasion, they would prefer to adopt this tiny animal. They named him Roulette.

But of course, the sun does not always shine: a much-loved, 9-year old donkey called Kleintje (Little One) had to be put to sleep. Kleintje suffered from a birth defect: a deformed back. Although he could not walk normally, he had a good life as long as it lasted. Kidney failure did him in.

For those who would like to visit the Donkey Sanctuary, please surf to for information how to get there or call +(297) 5841063 or +(297) 5932933, e-mail: [email protected] The Sanctuary is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 12:30pm and Saturday and Sundays, 10am to 3pm.

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March 24, 2009
Rona Coster