A pair of elderly rescue donkeys who lost their companions have formed a close bond at The Donkey Sanctuary.

Charity staff said Marian and Elvie were both “heartbroken” after their fieldmates passed away at their respective guardian homes.

Marian, 22, had been rehomed with a family in Berkshire, where she lived with her friend Max. She joined Max just two years ago after he lost his companion of many years himself.

After Max passed away, his owner knew it would be in Marian’s best interests to return to the sanctuary’s care, where she would have the chance of finding a new companion.

Meanwhile, nineteen-year-old Elvie had been kept by a family in mid-Wales with her companion, a gelding called Blinker. Sadly, after Blinker suffered from an untreatable sarcoid and his owners decided it was kindest for him to be put down, leaving Elvie on her own.

Firm friends

“Donkeys form lifelong bonds, and when they lose a bonded companion, it is essential to find them a new friend for their wellbeing,” said a charity spokesman. “Our staff try their best to match them with a similar donkey in the hope that the two will form a bond.”

Marian and Elvie arrived at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth at around the same time, giving them the chance to form a friendship with one another.

Sara Blair-Salter, the charity’s New Arrivals Manager, said the pair settled in quickly.

“They are such sweet donkeys, and since joining us they have formed a close bond,” she said. “It has been lovely watching them galloping around their paddock together and so heart-warming that they have found each other.”

Due to their ages, Marian and Elvie will not be considered for the charity’s rehoming scheme, but they have a safe and happy future ahead at The Donkey Sanctuary.

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