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Equus asinus

Submitted by on September 15, 2011 – 7:39 pmNo Comment

The noble Manchester donkeys bring joy to children with special needs in Debdale Park. The Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys (EST) is a charity dedicated to providing riding therapy with donkeys to children with special needs and disabilities and has a thriving and successful centre in Manchester which was opened in 2004.

Children enjoy riding, stroking, cuddling and talking to the Manchester donkeys. The staff claim that the donkeys will accept any kind of attention and seem to understand the needs of the children.

All the donkeys are chosen from the Donkey Sanctuary, which is a sister organisation to the EST Trust, and great care is taken in selecting donkeys that are healthy, placid, obedient and enjoy human company.

The 20 donkeys at Debdale take it in turns to work with the children, six donkeys being worked each day which maintains interest and keeps the donkeys fit.

You can follow the Manchester Donkeys on twitter, @estmanchester.

The northern bunch of Manchester donkeys have housed themselves at Heaton Park. The North Manchester donkeys can be seen resting in paddocks, or busy working taking children for short rides. Weight restrictions do apply, donkeys do not carry fat bastards. If you are visiting our north Manchester donkey friends with a group of young light children, you must book rides in advance on 07747870595. Proof of weight will be required.

The picture was taken at Heaton Park. “This was a ‘lucky shot’, I was using my camera phone and the donkey yawned or brayed (don’t know which) during the shot” Linda said of this gorgeous animal. “Oh I love Donkeys. I have adopted a Donkey called Toby and he is at the Donkey Sanctuary at Debdale Park, Manchester. We are hoping to visit when we are over at Christmas. Heaton Park was a favourite of mine when I was a child. Great photo”.

An enthusiastic cyclist said of our donkeys while riding in Heaton Park, ‘you can dismount and make friends with the park’s alpacas and donkeys’ – British Cycling e-zine.

Donkeys were first domesticated around 4000 BC, probably in Egypt and have since spread to Manchester. Of the 41 million donkeys worldwide only 3.7% choose to live in Europe and most of those are in Manchester it is claimed.

In European folklore it is asserted that the tail of a donkey can combat whooping cough and scorpion stings. Shakespeare had the head of the character ‘Bottom’ turned into a donkey. And as we know in football, a player who is considered unskilful, and to rely overly on his physical attributes to cover up his technical shortcomings, is often dubbed a “donkey.”

A FREE donkey care workshop is being held at Abbey Hey donkey centre on Saturday 8th October 2011 from 10am-4pm.
Ben Hart, donkey care training manager, says: “We’ve all heard the old adage ‘you are what you eat’, but have you ever stopped to think exactly how this may also be true for your donkey? Join us for more practical tips on feeding, and learn how to create the correct diet for your donkey. We’ll also be looking at parasite control including de-worming, pasture management and learning how to assess your donkey’s health and manage his daily care.”
The Donkey Sanctuary also runs a foster scheme which gives fit and healthy donkeys the chance to experience the individual care and attention that comes from being part of a loving home.
If you would like to attend the workshop or you could provide a home for a pair of donkeys call The Donkey Sanctuary on 01395 578222.

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