Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary

Monday, 7 October, 2013
We're all familiar with the loveable character of Eeyore, A.A Milne's famous, self-deprecating donkey. You might not be so familiar with the plight of South Africa's donkeys and the team behind restoring the lives of these often abused animals.
Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary provides a permanent refuge for abused, neglected and elderly donkeys. Here they are given the opportunity to live out their lives with respect and dignity, surrounded by their own kind, in a protective and natural environment.

Nearly a decade ago, Dr Johan & Annemarie van Zijl of McGregor village in the Western Cape of South Africa responded to a request from the SPCA to provide shelter for two badly neglected donkeys.

The two fellows arrived and were named Vaal & Japie - "vaaljapie" is an Afrikaans term for everyday wine. Soon it became evident that there were many other donkeys similarly in desperate need of food, water, shelter and care.

The dream of a Donkey Sanctuary was born.

On their values and mission;
"First and foremost we provide a permanent home and loving care to destitute, rescued donkeys. Over the past 5 years we have cared for over 25 donkeys here at the Sanctuary and fostered a further 10 to homes in the Western Cape.

Each donkey is cared for and looked at least twice a day. Eyes and hooves are cleaned, fly repellant applied, and any little wounds or infections are treated.

They are fed three different types of hay twice a day and the elderly or thin donkeys get bowls of soft food in a separate enclosure twice a day."

Core vision:

1. To promote the welfare of all donkeys through:
- Promoting good practice in terms of the care and handling of donkeys
- Engaging with donkey owners to improve levels of care and prevent abuse and maltreatment
- Assisting other groups and individuals through the sharing of expertise and experience

2.  Provide permanent refuge & care for abused, neglected & elderly donkeys in the Western Cape  through:
- Being a centre of excellence in terms of donkey care
- Caring for donkeys with passion and commitment
- Developing and supporting a programme which allows for donkeys to be fostered at suitable homes
-  Ensuring that all activities necessary for the running of the sanctuary are conducted in an impeccable manner

3.  Raise the status of donkeys so that they can be seen as worthy creatures with special qualities through:
- Educating the wider public through media and events
- Co-operating with other groups, individuals, sanctuaries and agencies who share similar goals

4.  Promote a culture of caring that extends from donkeys to all other animals as well as human beings through:
- Encouraging visits to the sanctuary
- Offering public education programmes
- Developing teaching resource materials for schools

For more details regarding visits or donations, click here

Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary is open Thursdays to Sundays - 11h00 to 14h00