Rupert & Perry – The Donkeys

Rupert (Brown) was born in 2012 and is a very cheeky character standing at 12hh tall and Perry (white) was born in 2010 and stands at 10hh tall.

These handsome boys are involved in many sessions at the paddock and enjoy having a groom and a scratch. They are also involved in our Donkey Facilitated Learning Programmes.

Rupert and Perry came to join us in July 2023 and spent their life prior to 2022 as Beech Donkeys in Ireland. During the Covid-19 impact on the tourist industry, Donkey rides, like holidays, were not taking place and many Donkeys are thought to have been euthanized during this time. However, Rupert and Perry were amongst several other donkeys that were all bought by a private horse dealer and sold across the UK. Rupert and Perry were again lucky to be purchased by a loving family for their children to live amongst their horses, and the boys are now on loan to us at AiM, where we treat them very much as our own boys.

Rupert is often nervous of new situations and we have to spend time with him to help him to see that the thing he is scared of, is actually not going to hurt him. His least favourite people in the world are vets, and he finds vets visits stressful. He likes meeting new people and is very quick to learn if these people might be carrying treats, which can make him a little rude, so we have a strict no treats rule for work with Rupert.

Perry is often described as the shyer of the two saved and initially appeared a little ‘shut down’ or subdued, but since arriving with us, he has started to show his personality, which is gentle and kind. He is less nervous around new situations than Rupert, but he is sometimes less curious and stands back a little more to weigh up the situation before heading to see ‘what’s in it for him’. Perry’s least favourite thing is the equine podiatrist (hoof trimmer), although now we have a specialist lady, who also owns donkeys, and his feet are improving, he is getting better each trim.

Scientific name: Equus africanus asinus
Class: Mammal
Origin: Africa / Asia
Diet: Herbivore, eating mainly straw and grass.
Lifespan: 40-50 years (in captivity)

Interesting Fact:
Many donkeys have excellent memory and problem-solving skills! Donkeys recall good and bad experiences for a long period of time as well as people’s faces if they are in contact with them for a long period of time.

Donkeys snooze standing up!

Yes, they do! and when they’re in a deep sleep, you’ll find them lying down on the floor.

Did you also know that donkeys sleep for short periods throughout each 24 hours and usually only sleep for a maximum of five hours a day?

Because they are known as a ‘prey animal’ – susceptible to predators in the wild, donkeys are naturally very aware of their surroundings. Sleeping for long periods of time would make them more vulnerable to being predated on.

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