After a guardian breaks a leg, the donkeys raise the alarm because “my guys realized I was in pain.” – Animals Nature Press

After a guardian breaks a leg, the donkeys raise the alarm because “my guys realized I was in pain.”


After their guardian fractured her leg and couldn’t be heard calling for help, two rescue donkeys were honored for sounding the alarm.

Hampshire-based In May of last year, while feeding Martin and James and her own sheep Isla, Carolyn Ballard, a former Donkey Sanctuary guardian, slipped.

When we turned our backs, Martin and James would be active and try to enter the hay stockpile. As I turned around to put Isla’s food in her stable, both donkeys had snuck into the hay storage, Carolyn remarked as she tripped over a pallet, fell to the ground, and was unable to rise to her feet.

According to a spokeswoman for the Donkey Sanctuary, Carolyn’s husband Barry could not hear her cries for assistance, and she lay motionless on the floor for a while while in “severe discomfort” before a “magic event happened.”


James and Martin started braying long and loud just as Carolyn was making her way to the open entrance where they were standing.

“I had never seen them act in that way before. James hadn’t brayed in a while—Martin would snort or bray when he desired attention.

As a means of communication with other donkeys and their owners, braying is a behavior that many donkeys exhibit frequently, but it’s also typical for a donkey to not bray at all.

The donkeys had never seen me lie on the ground before, which was a change in behavior. They appeared to be calling out because of the expressions on their faces and how wide-open their eyes were in response to my anguish. Their gurgling was so peculiar that Barry noticed it, according to Carolyn.

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Eventually, I was able to maneuver myself to the door where I yelled and waved to Barry, who quickly realized what was wrong and rushed to save me. My adorable boys unquestionably recognized my pain and called for help.

According to the spokesman, Carolyn was rushed to the hospital where an X-ray revealed she had fractured her fibula, but things could have turned out much worse if not for the help of her donkeys.

“The farm across the road and the neighbors heard about it. Everyone claimed that despite how loudly the donkeys were braying, they didn’t believe they were calling for assistance. Even a farmer who was more than half a mile away could hear it, according to Carolyn.

Carolyn was forced to use crutches and a boot to support her leg for several weeks, but this did not prevent her from seeing Martin and James, who were lately moved in with a new guardian due to a change in circumstances.

According to a representative for the Donkey Sanctuary, “this is a perfect example of how guardians greatly appreciate the safety net and support supplied by the Donkey Sanctuary should they no longer be able to care for their donkeys due to a change in personal circumstances.”



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