Meet Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s very own daughter of Winterfell – an irresistibly fluffy donkey named Arya who has proved to be one tough cookie!
Just like her namesake Arya Stark, from George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novels Game of Thrones, donkey Arya is a true survivor having overcome the loss of her mum Millie at a very young age.
Part-breed Poitou donkey Arya arrived at Redwings in August 2014 when she was just one-month-old with mum Millie and their companions, mother and son Adel and Merlin. Sadly their owner, a long-standing Redwings volunteer, was no longer able to provide the specialist care that a family of Poitou donkeys need.
Millie was a full registered Poitou – a very rare breed of donkey originating from France, of which only 400 remain in the world! As well as sporting a traditional shaggy coat and standing at an impressive 14.2hh (that is 41cm taller than an average donkey), Millie unfortunately suffered from ongoing lameness issues, which is also a condition Poitou donkeys are susceptible to. Very sadly, in January 2015 Millie’s lameness had advanced to such an extent that the Sanctuary had no other option than to put her to sleep to ensure she did not suffer – leaving little Arya an orphan.
As donkeys form very close bonds, the Redwings vet team kept a close eye on the Poitou trio, but like a real warrior Arya coped fantastically well and lived to fight another day. With the support of the charity’s equine care team, Arya, best friend Merlin and her adoptive mum Adel took up permanent residence at Redwings’ Oxhill Visitor Centre in Warwickshire.
Arya has grown into a lively and lovable member of the Redwings family, and her cheeky character soon saw her added to the charity’s Adoption Club, where for just £12.50 a year supporters can help fund the continued care of their favourite Adoption Star and their friends. What a superstar!
Thank you to Redwings Horse Sanctuary for contributing this blog post.