When Harry met Derek

Derek and Harry

Everyone at Redwings was so saddened when we lost beautiful donkey Clive to a severe bout of colic in September. We were also very concerned at how his inseparable companion Derek would adjust to life without his best buddy.

Donkeys form extremely strong bonds and the loss of one of a pair of close friends can pose a real threat to the health of the survivor. Our vets and equine care teams understand just how carefully a lonely donkey must be monitored and managed to help them recover, and thankfully Adoption Stars Wiggins and Wacko were a great support to grieving Derek, giving him the companionship that is so vital to donkeys’ wellbeing.

But Derek needed a special friend of his own again as autumn came and the donkeys were due to be stabled at night. Three donkeys in one stable would be a bit too cosy and Derek definitely didn’t want to be in a stable by himself. So a very special friend request went out within the Sanctuary to find a perfect addition to the little group…

Meet Harry, a gentle 12-year-old donkey who had been living with our amazing donkey herd at Redwings Caldecott. He was carefully transported to Aylsham at the end of October and introduced to Derek as the team held their breath and crossed their fingers. But they needn’t have worried –Derek attached himself firmly to his new pal and the pair have been inseparable since!

“It was a very special moment and a great relief,” said Louisa, a member of the horse care team at Redwings Aylsham.

“Derek had been doing well with his friends Wiggins and Wacko, but just a bit quiet sometimes and, having been with Clive for so many years, we knew he would want his own best buddy again, as so many donkeys do.

“He perked up straight away when he met Harry and he is very much back to his old self now, it’s wonderful to see. Harry is a sweet-natured gentleman and we love having him here at Redwings Aylsham where he is already a big hit with visitors.”

Don’t forget that you can meet these two best friends for yourself at Redwings Aylsham for free! The centre is open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays throughout the year between 10am and 4pm and Derek and Harry would love to see you! Click here for more information about visiting Redwings Aylsham.