‘Farewell our fluffy, funny friend’: sanctuary favourite dies aged 26

  • Staff at the Donkey Sanctuary have paid tribute to beloved resident Charlie C, who has died aged 26.

    The former adoption donkey proved popular at the charity’s Birmingham sanctuary and spent two decades delighting visitors.

    Charlie C arrived in 1997 aged five.

    “It was obvious that his charming personality, fluffy coat, and daily bray would make him a perfect choice for our adoption scheme,” said a Donkey Sanctuary spokesman.

    Charlie had thousands of adopters over the years.

    “Loved by all, Charlie stood quietly to be stroked and groomed and even placed his head on their shoulders at times,” said Andrew Perry, Donkey Sanctuary groom.

    “Charlie was one of the only donkeys who would walk over to you when called by name. Every day, when he was waiting for his lunch, you would hear a staff member calling him and he would come trotting over licking his lips — much to the delight of visitors, volunteers and staff alike.”

    Great friends: Bert and Charlie C

    Sue Brennan, manager of the Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham, described Charlie C as a “lovely, kind and gentle” donkey.

    “He would stand patiently waiting to be brushed by our children who loved him for his fluffy coat and distinctive skewbald colouring,” she said.

    “Working in our arena as part of our donkey facilitated learning program, Charlie was friendly and approachable.

    ”He used his internal clock and distinctive bray to great effect and was very clever at letting people know when he thought his feed was due. He was always right, his feeds were never late as the volume and duration of his bray would continue to increase until his feed arrived.”

    In 2015 he lost his long-standing best friend Donk Dean, and for a long time he kept himself to himself.

    But more recently, he befriended an 11-year-old donkey called Bert who arrived in Birmingham having been abandoned in Ireland.

    Charlie C’s long-standing best friend, Donk Dean

    Continued below…

    “Bert gave Charlie a real boost in his later life and the pair could be found playing tug-of-war with a wellington boot,” added the charity spokesman.

    “Charlie passed away quietly and peacefully, surrounded by the staff who had cared for him for over 20 years.

    “He will be sadly missed, but the memories of our fluffy, funny friend will last for ever.”

    Do you have a special memory of Charlie C? We’d love to hear more. Comment on our Facebook post.

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