Two days ago we were informed that a donkey owner in the Palestinian village of Deir Istia, about 20 miles west of Qalqilya, wanted to 'throw out' a baby donkey who was 'disturbing' her mother from carrying out her daily work.
Tragically here in this region, people do these wicked things.
I'll never forget years ago here when I once saw the carcass of a donkey, all dried up but with an old rope still attached to the head, and tied to a post in the middle of nowhere...
Someone had actually tied the animal up to die of starvation and dehydration and they have been known to do that to baby donkeys who disturb their mothers from their daily work too.
So now, with that little soul, I could not bear separating her from her mother knowing how her mother's heart will pine for her and hers for her mother.... But there was no escape for her because if we didn't take her, she would have suffered a far worse fate.
She is the prettiest most delightful little soul, but seeing her with mummy one minute, seeing how together they were and the comfort they took in each other and the love and security... knowing that moments later we were going to be breaking them apart forever with neither one knowing what ever happened to the other... I gave her mother a few carrots to eat as the owner led her away and we lifted the baby into the back of our vehicle. As the mother walked off down the road she wasn't looking back and was walking away quite willingly... but she probably presumed her baby was close behind her.
Little Fiona sought my warmth and comfort all the way back in the car from within Palestinian territory to the Israeli border, a couple of times calling for her mother and she chewed at a little chocolate wafer that I offered her to try to help momentarily keep her mind occupied..
At the big main border checkpoint they stopped us and pulled us over for a check up and we had to say we'd found her abandoned by the roadside near a Jewish settlement, otherwise we would not have been allowed to bring her in to Israel so easily or quickly.
When we got her back to the sanctuary at night I felt so terribly sorry for her, and to think of what her poor mother must have been going through that night is too much to bear... We did ask the owner if he would allow us to take the mother too but he wouldn't agree. The world is such a cruel place.
The owner had a few animals there including a male donkey, whom they said was not the father, and they asked us if we could return to geld/castrate him at some point.
As sad and disappointed as I was with these men, they were so hospitable and welcoming to us and as far as I'm concerned every castrated male donkey in that area can surely only be a good thing if it can help to prevent these traumatic situations, so I agreed we would return in a few weeks' time with our vet.
I pray our little girl will be alright and soon get over her trauma and start to settle and be happy once again in her little life. I have to admit already now, after just a couple of days she seems to be accepting her new home and little donkey friends.