Rescued: January 26, 2018
The scars on poor Coco's face said it all: she'd obviously been forced to live with thin pieces of rope or bailing twine tied permanently around her face – tied so tight, in fact, that they had literally grown into her head, causing serious wounds.
We were called by Formentera Police to pick up this abandoned 9-year-old donkey. She was in terrible condition; dehydrated, very malnourished, and with those awful wounds across her nose and under her chin. We believe she'd been kept in some horrendous place before being dumped on the street at night by her former owners.
Sadly, this is happening more and more now, where people are literally just throwing donkeys and ponies on the street in Spain.
Incredibly, though, Coco displayed the most beautiful nature right as soon as she arrived. To this day, she’s so lovely and cuddly. We suspect she'd never really had any human contact; it’s almost like nobody ever stroked her or gave her a carrot. She was probably just been shut away in some filthy stall and used again and again for breeding. So Coco absolutely loves all the attention she gets at our centre.
Coco was so malnourished when she arrived that we had to feed her up for about a week before we could even worm her. This is a common strategy here at our centre. You don’t want to blitz a new rescue straight away when they come in, as they’re often traumatised and stressed from being out in the open after years of being shut away completely. So rehabilitation must happen in stages.
Every day, we would gently clean Coco's facial injuries with Hi-Bi Scrub, then put an ointment on so the wounds could heal.
We also slowly attended to her hooves, which were in terrible condition, probably because they had never been trimmed. Coco's front feet have slight laminitis, which has caused her right-hand side tendon to retract. This means Coco tends to walk on tiptoe, because it's painful for her to walk normally.
We are hopeful that, with good nutrition and regular hoof trims, we can help her feel far more comfortable. She will definitely have to lead a relatively quiet life to protect her fragile legs.
In February 2018, we finally decided on the perfect name for this big donkey with the huge ears. We decided to call her Coco in honour of Colin 'Coco' Brown and his friend Paul Thacker, who both become huge supporters of our rescue centre after we appeared on the television series Bargain-Loving Brits in the Sun in January 2018.
These two generous guys arranged a coach trip from Benidorm to our February open day, helping spread the word about our work to dozens of new supporters. We like to think that these two Easy Horse Care Heores now have a little mascot in Coco the donkey.
Despite likely never having experienced any contact or love, Coco is an absolute dream, a real sweetheart. Isn't it amazing the trust these animals give us after all they've survived?
As a non-profit foundation staffed almost entirely by volunteers, we rely on your donations to continue our work to save donkeys like Coco, and to cover their ongoing feeding and care costs. Find out how you can help here.