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Caring for the Geriatric Donkey: Promoting Health and Well-being in Old Age

Donkeys are sturdy and resilient animals, but like any living beings, they age over time. While it is often said that a donkey's life expectancy is around 40 years, the reality is that many of them begin to show signs of aging as early as 20 years, and the average life expectancy is below 30 years. Therefore, it is crucial to pay special attention to the care of geriatric donkeys, those that have surpassed the 20-year mark, to ensure that they enjoy a full and healthy life in their later years. Here are some key considerations to ensure the well-being of your senior donkey.

burro anciano

Hiring: Farm Supervisor

The Donkey Sanctuary is an international animal welfare organisation, offering care and protection to donkeys and mules worldwide. We are working for a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering, and their contribution to humanity is fully valued. We are achieving this by transforming the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships.


monica y burros

Spring at our sanctuaries

Both of our sanctuaries remain closed to visitors, but we have a lot of action going on behind the scenes. We are currently making a series of improvements to our facilities that will result in an increase in the wellbeing of our donkeys and mules.

In our sanctuary at Fuente de Piedra (Malaga), we have been redesigning paddocks, making them more open and spacious and replacing our old wooden fence with a metal one. The new fence is more resistant, durable and safe (it does not require screws or nails to fix it).

Nuestro veterinario odontólogo Jose Maria Galafate con el  mulo Paco

Five reasons to be more donkey

Donkeys are often painted as stubborn, slow and dull - something that we at The Donkey Sanctuary know for a fact is untrue. These five donkey facts show that we could all do with being a little more like our four-legged friends.

As the forefront global experts in donkey behaviour, we know that donkeys are not only complex and intelligent: they are inspiring animals. If you're tired of scrolling past the same news on your screen, we encourage you to learn something new about these incredible equines.

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Lice in donkeys

What are lice?

• Lice are small, parasitic insects. There are lots of different types of lice, the most common to affect the donkey is a type of ‘chewing louse’. 
• Lice live beneath the hair, where they feed on the donkey’s skin and lay eggs. They are passed on to other donkeys when 
they come in to close contact and can be extremely itchy.  Different types of lice look different. Adult chewing lice and 
eggs can be seen with the naked eye. 

monica con manolo y zeus

Donations in kind

We have 252 donkeys and mules in our sanctuaries and certain products are of great help to improve their quality of life. Here we want to share with you a list of needs, for individuals or companies that prefer to collaborate through donations in kind. All items are much needed and useful for easy their daily lives. By clicking on the links, you can see examples of the products we need:

Fly fringes

Please watch our video to see how you can make fly fringes at home. While the video is in Spanish, the instructions are easy to follow.

magdalena y minie con mosqueros

Colic in donkeys

Colic can be extremely serious and early treatment is vital. Make sure you know the causes and signs so you can act quickly if your donkey becomes ill.

What is colic?

Colic is a symptom of abdominal pain, commonly in the gastrointestinal tract (such as the stomach or intestine). It can also be due to pain in other organs, such as the kidneys, ovaries or bladder.

There are many different kinds of colic, including:

mojino lying down


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