Last week, the Donkey Sanctuary saw the largest case of vandalism this year. I'm from Frankfurt and I'm a fan of our unity. One or the other case of vandalism is pushed into this corner every now and then. I have never participated in vandalism around football matches. However, I am solely responsible for the case in the Donkey Sanctuary, even if I had accomplices during the implementation who were happy to do the job.
Two days after my birthday party, I have the task of driving the donkeys all into a different, relatively small enclosure. Since you cannot drive a donkey, the feed has to be distributed accordingly. Then the donkey comes by itself. A change from normal work and great fun when the donkeys understand that the usual feeding place is not served today. As always, Sunday is exhausting because I work two shifts, so I can feed twice.
Over 100 donkeys now have to live together for a few days in an area that is otherwise inhabited by only eleven donkeys. That's tight.
On Tuesday I only have one shift that ends with the evening feeding. Distributing the hay in this enclosure is an adventure because the donkeys don't wait for me to bring them the food. They all come to the wheelbarrow and want to eat straight from it. This can not go well. So I have to set up at least 50 small feeding places and erect the wheelbarrow twice, the donkeys like to knock them over. I finish the feeding soaked in sweat, because it is particularly hot today, no breeze blows.
The reason most residents move is to have a new roof built in the visitor center. The roofers have to drive the car in and out again and again, but they don't want to play with the donkeys.
Desiree has estimated that the roof will take two days to build. That's why I am a little surprised when I come to work on Tuesday. Only a few supports are already in place. The fence around the visitor center has been dismantled and scaffolding is being erected. On Tuesday I find out that it will probably take a few days longer, the material has only been complete for a few hours. The roofers are taking a lunch break.
On Wednesday I visit the donkeys out of turn. I actually want to be there when they are allowed to leave the small enclosure. I also like to be there, I want to take some photos of the many donkeys in the narrow space. Desiree greets me by saying that they vandalized that night. Now my glasses are almost falling out of my sunglasses.
All tables and chairs have been bitten. A chair leg was almost bitten through. The container for the feed pellets has been destroyed. Scrubbers, brooms and rakes have no or only very short handles. Desiree shows me photos of a totally shitty visitor center. Even the stairs to the toilet are damaged. I take the cover of the food as a symbol. It's made of solid wood.
My long-eared accomplices did a great job. I don't dare to ask Desiree about the pictures.
How could that happen? When I was feeding the donkeys on Tuesday afternoon, I forgot to secure one of the bolts with a snap hook. A couple of the donkeys have developed the skill to slide the latches open with their lips and then open the doors. This allowed them to go around the entire site at night and, because of the lack of a fence, also to the visitor center. The rest is history. The mistake mustn't happen to me again, or I'll lose my job.
After a week of construction, all the roof supports are in place and the fence in front of the visitor center has been reassembled. The donkeys are allowed to run around everywhere again. This leads to funny incidents.
With their heads bowed and always looking for leftover food pellets on the ground, Diva and Gypsy have walked into a hopeless situation. They passed under the diagonal struts with their heads bowed, greed did the rest. But they can no longer get out because they are no longer looking for food, but for a way out.
In the end I am allowed to dismantle the diagonal struts. So the two can be set free. It is absolutely impossible to push a donkey under a bar. Food as motivation did not help either.
A few hours later the donkey trap snaps shut again. Another donkey got greedily in a tight spot. First, Anneke tries a carrot as motivation (see film recording). Then we try it together - I try to squeeze a little inside while the carrot pulls the donkey outside. It almost works until the donkey realizes that I'm pushing from the inside. Then he doesn't want anymore. Finally, I dismantle the struts a second time. Great.