A one-year-old donkey is receiving specialist care from vets, after being found close to death by RSPCA inspectors in Morecambe, Lancashire.

“Rupert” was discovered on Tuesday morning (26 June). He was underweight with long hooves and so weak he was unable to stand or eat.

He was immediately signed over to The Donkey Sanctuary, to receive emergency care.

Anna Harrison, a Donkey Sanctuary vet, said Rupert’s chances at the outset were “bleak”.

He was incredibly thin and weak and his respiratory rate was worryingly high,” she said.

Lung scans revealed that Rupert was suffering from a severe respiratory infection and he had to be fed through a stomach tube as he was unable to eat by himself.

“Whilst he is not out of the woods yet, the specialist care he continues to receive has given Rupert some hope,” said Ms Harrison.

“This morning (29 June) I was encouraged to hear that he had managed to stand and was attempting to eat by himself. Only time will tell whether he continues to respond well to treatment and manages to pull through,” she added.

Rupert was too ill to be transported to The Donkey Sanctuary’s veterinary hospital in Devon, so he is being cared for by Westmorland Veterinary Practice in Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancs.

“In situations like this where animals are in a critical condition and it is too dangerous to move them, we are grateful for the donations from our supporters which enable us to call upon the services of experts nearby,” said Ms Harrison.

Almost 200 donkeys have come into the care of the charity this year. It is funded entirely by donations.