A foster donkey on loan to a pensioner has foiled an attempted burglary – with his huge bellowing bray.
Jaffa, who lives in Catforth, Preston, with donkey companion Jacko and their loving ‘foster mum’ Mary Beetham, woke the neighbourhood in the early hours last week with an “enormous” bellow, sending the intruder packing and raising the alarm.
Mary,73, took on Jaffa two months ago from The Donkey Sanctuary’s foster scheme after another of her donkeys passed away. She said: “I woke up to a terrible noise.
“It dawned on me it was the big new donkey.
“Well, he always has a loud bray but this was an incredible noise.
“It was so loud I knew something was wrong.
“So I shot out to have a look and saw a person running off.”
She added: “Jaffa was very distressed and my instinct was to go make sure he was okay, but afterwards I thought it was a bit of a silly thing to do.”
The police were informed but retired PE teacher Mary is convinced the trespassers won’t be back after Jaffa’s dawn chorus.
She said: “I think they’d be terrified.
“I’m convinced it was intruders and I’m convinced they met their match with Jaffa.”
The 14-year-old pet, who has now recovered from the incident at 1.30am last Wednesday, spent more than two years at the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon before moving to live with Mary, having been mistreated for many years in Ireland.
Mary, who has kept donkeys as pets on her small holding for 17 years, describes him as “a great big soft thing that can smell a carrot a mile away”, and said his heroism is further evidence of why donkeys are “the best pets ever”.
She added: “They’re just so incredibly friendly, loving and full of fun.
“They also have a good sense of humour – they’ll take something out of your hand and go running off round the field.”
Foster owners are at the heart of The Donkey Sanctuary’s plans to rehome 3000 donkeys in private homes, schools and institutions by 2018.
Anyone interested in more information can visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/foster-a-donkey.