Staff at an animal sanctuary have had to install security cameras in a bid to discover how a diminutive donkey kept escaping from her paddock. Bemused grooms at international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary were left dumbfounded after nine year old miniature donkey Tally managed to escape from her paddock on an almost daily basis to munch on lush grass nearby. Although staff stepped up daily patrols to see if they could spot Tally in the act, the equine escapologist always evaded being caught.
Tally’s paddock, shared with 10 other miniature donkeys, was divided by an electric fence, but every morning Tally would be found on the other side of the fence munching on the long grass.
After weeks of head-scratching, the team at the Devon-based charity decided to take drastic action and installed close circuit television. It wasn't long before the herd’s Houdini was caught red-hooved. Footage revealed Tally simply ducking under and lifting the wire over her back, seemingly unaffected by the mild shock from the fence.
The team found that Tally was coming to no harm during her escapades and as the paddock she was escaping into was secure, they decided to turn a blind-eye to her adventures. The Donkey Sanctuary’s Maxine Carter explained: “In all my years looking after donkeys I’ve never come across any animal so good at escaping as Tally. We tried everything to try and stop her getting out of her paddock but she out-thought us every time. She’s making a real name for herself. If she were human, you’d probably be saying ‘lock her up’ because she’s been into every sweet shop going, gorging on all the goodies!
We’ve thought up different ways to try to stop her having free-rein to the longer grass, but she’s found the knack and at the end of the day, that’s where she wants to be and that’s where she’s happy, so we just need to keep an eye on her.”
Miniature donkeys originate from Sardinia and Sicily. They are a separate donkey breed in their own right, generally no higher than 91 cm.
Tally, along with her miniature donkey friends can be visited at the The Donkey Sanctuary’s Sidmouth site in Devon and people can also keep an eye on her antics by logging on to the live webcam.
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and author of 11 books. My byline appears in national and regional newspapers and magazines. Website