A retired donkey who brought joy to hundreds of youngsters during his working career is recovering after being stabbed in a vicious attack.
Bimbo, 28, was stabbed in the stomach while in his field in Eltham, southeast London, on Friday, 21 June.
Met police are investigating, but no arrests have yet been made.
Owner Lorayne Ahmet told H&H to see him injured in this way was “devastating”.
“My father, Len Thorne, did donkey rides for 65 years and a lot of the people who came have gone on to ride,” she said, adding the pitch on Blackheath had been in her family for “well over a century”.
“The donkeys gave a lot of children a lot of pleasure over the years and it is just really sad that somebody would be so cruel. It is a barbaric thing to do to an animal.”
Bimbo’s injuries were discovered by the lady who helps Lorayne look after the retired herd.
“She had been grooming Bimbo and called me to say he had a nasty cut. When I looked at it I thought ‘that isn’t a normal cut’,” she added.
The blade had gone in at a diagonal angle, creating a three-inch pocket but fortunately missing his vital organs.
Bimbo was treated by vets and also suffered a bout of laminitis after the attack, but it now doing well.
“The community has really come together,” said Lorayne, adding she “can’t believe” how much has been raised towards Bimbo’s vet bills and a higher fence to keep the donkeys safe.
“They do give the children a lot of pleasure. There’s a lot of children in London who don’t get the opportunity to see animals and this is a bit of an oasis in the middle of southeast London.”
Lorayne, a National Pony Society judge and breeder, added she owes “so much” to the donkeys for introducing her to a life with horses and to her father for always encouraging her.
“I owe it to him and his donkeys,” she said.
A spokesman for the Met Police added: “Police were called at 20:07hrs on Friday, 21 June to King John’s Walk SE9 after a woman reported that her donkey had suffered a stab injury to its stomach.
“There have been no arrests. The caller reported the incident to the RSPCA.”
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