ABOUT 20 locals who have become friends of Emily the donkey gathered at the West Beach Drive home of Wollie and Annerie Wolmarans last Saturday for a farewell party for the little donkey that stole all their hearts.
Emily was fetched on Sunday by her new family who live on a farm near East London.
Annerie shed some tears at the gathering on Saturday, as she related her work with donkeys over the past 40 years, rescuing many from abusive owners while also encouraging better treatment for the beasts of burden through the Makana Donkey Association she founded in 2002.
Emily has become symbolic of all those donkeys, rescued from certain death in Grahamstown at only five days old. She was tended to by a veterinarian before Annerie took her home to raise her over the past two months. Wollie and Annerie fed her a bottle of warm milk five times a day and gave her plenty of apples and carrots.
She slept in a wendyhouse and became a familiar sight on the beach near Flame Lilly when Annerie and Wollie took their entire menagerie for a walk – two cats, three dogs and the donkey all getting along like old mates.
Adults and children alike petted the little donkey and enjoyed a slice of cake at the farewell party.
Annerie said female donkeys have been found to be good guardians for herds of sheep, with a number of her rescues being used by farmers for this purpose.