A charity is calling on supporters to donate urgent funds this Christmas to help starving donkeys in Tanzania.
On a visit to the Dodama region of the country in November, The Donkey Sanctuary found 2,500 donkeys with nothing left to eat. The equines support 500 families in the area.
The vegetation had turned to dust after rains had failed for two years running.
The charity has had reports of donkeys resorting to eating each other’s faeces as they are so hungry.
Rain is hoped to fall in January, but it will be another four to six weeks afterwards before the plants begin to grow again.
“The soil is like dust here. The rain has failed for two years now, turning the area into a desert. Donkeys do not have enough food as plants are not growing. Water points are also drying up and becoming scarce,” said Dr Thomas Kahema, director of the Tanzania Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO).
The Society is working with The Donkey Sanctuary to provide vital extra fodder to sustain the donkeys.
The food will be given out at watering holes and at veterinary clinics run by The Donkey Sanctuary and TAWESO in the area.
To donate visit: www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/lifeline-for-hungry-donkeys.
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The Donkey Sanctuary estimates 60% of donkey dependent communities have been targeted in some areas.
Donkeys are taken to satisfy the growing demand for ejiao, a traditional Chinese medicine which uses the gelatin found in donkey hides for products alleged to offer anti-ageing properties.
One owner, Lisa had five of her seven donkeys stolen and skinned overnight recently leaving her two remaining donkeys Moko and Apendi having to work even harder with little food.
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