Date of Birth: ?
Gotcha Day: 04/06/2016
Breed: Pyrenean Donkey
Tintin was used as a pack donkey in the Pyrenees. He was loaded too heavily whilst also being too young which completely deformed his back and caused a sunken spine. We suppose he was subject to more abuse because he was scared of everything. To protect himself he became quite aggressive. He would attack the horses, dogs and other animals of the place in which he was living, which is most likely why the owners wanted to get rid of him.
He was taken in by other people in the area where he escaped multiple times. He was still aggressive towards dogs and horses. This was the second time he would be destined for slaughter. His fate was decidedly different because we met these people by chance and gave Tintin a third chance at life.
His beginnings at the sanctuary were quite difficult. Just like in his past two homes, he attacked the dogs, goats and horses quite violently. He would rear up whenever the farrier tried to trim his hooves. All the other animals live in harmony and are so kind and sweet that they didn’t really react to his behaviour. The peaceful energy of the sanctuary and the zen master-like attitude of the others calmed him down dramatically.
He became a very affectionate and social donkey. His social skills towards humans and animals improved further the day Yuki arrived. It was love at first sight. Theirs is an enviable friendship, or as social media would say, they are #friendshipgoals.
Since he’s been getting adequate food and exercise, his back and spine have improved considerably.
On 22 December 2021, after three days of confining himself in his stall, he went out to enjoy the sun that had finally come out after two weeks of constant rain. In the afternoon, Tintin laid down, as he often did, but he suddenly couldn’t get back up. We tried to help him up but he would constantly fall back down, too weak to stand on his own legs. We called the vet and as we were huddled around him, petting him, Tintin ate some fresh hay until he fell asleep from the anaesthetic. We were happy he managed to enjoy the sun one last time.
Please consider not hiring pack donkeys whilst on your travels in countries such as Spain, Greece, Turkey and more. They all suffer greatly and although it seems like an authentic experience to use donkeys, bring less stuff and carry it yourself.