A pair of donkeys in need of urgent veterinary care who were found wandering loose on a Cumbrian mountain road have been rescued.
Daisy and Thistle were spotted by motorists passing through the Lake District National Park last May. The donkeys, who had severely overgrown hooves and bold patches on their coats, were walking along the side of a mountain in the Langdale area.
Twelve-year-old Daisy and eleven-year-old Thistle had access to the whole of Wrynose Fell. Without intervention, the donkeys could have become stranded on the mountain’s high peaks and steep slopes.
Following a call from a concerned member of the public, welfare adviser for The Donkey Sanctuary, Adele Crompton, travelled to the mountainside with an RSPCA inspector, a vet and two officers from Cumbria police.
On closer inspection, the Donkey Welfare Adviser could see the donkeys needed urgent veterinary care. Their hooves were misshapen and twisted, indicating they had not seen a farrier for quite some time. Their coats were in poor condition, with missing patches of hair leaving their delicate skin exposed to the sun.
“Once they were safely caught, I could see that their feet were very badly twisted, which would have caused them considerable discomfort,” said Adele. “They were clearly struggling to walk.
“It was good thing we were able to step in when we did. The road they were on had several blind bends, and there is a chance that they could have been involved in a traffic collision.
“It would have been a tragedy for not just the donkeys, but for any motorist who saw them too late.”
The RSPCA and the police made contact with Daisy and Thistle’s owner; they agreed for the donkeys to be relinquished into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary.
Daisy and Thistle received expert veterinary care, including dental work and farrier attention to their feet. They have since settled into their new environment quickly and have made good progress on their road to recovery.
Sally Bamforth, welfare adviser at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “Daisy and Thistle have continued to do well. The condition of their coats and hooves have considerably improved.
“We are awaiting further assessment to see whether the damage sustained to their hooves is long-term, or has improved to an extent where they may be eligible for our Rehoming Scheme.
“They have enjoyed being handled and receiving daily attention, and they are looking towards a much rosier future.”