Much-loved donkey who lived her best life dies aged 64

  • A donkey who spent decades living her best life and delighting the public – and was thought to be the oldest in the UK, if not the world’s oldest donkey – has died at the age of 64.

    Staff and visitors at Hatton Adventure World have paid tribute to Bubble, after the years finally caught up with her.

    “She knew it was time and I knew it was time,” assistant manager Alice Latham told H&H.

    “The vet was absolutely lovely. I sat with her and it was peaceful, and the best possible send-off she could have had. She was one of my favourites.”

    Alice said Bubble arrived at the Warwickshire attraction 25 years ago, and became a favourite with visitors as well as staff. She starred in the film Nativity! and took a star role in Hatton’s own nativity plays.

    “In her later years, she spent a lot of time in our ‘farmyard favourites’, being brushed and pampered and loved,” Alice said. “Animals know you on a different level and she was very knowing, and she was funny. She used to bray, and then fart at the same time, in the middle of farmyard favourites when it was full of people; this old lady who had not a care in the world, letting out these massive brays and farts and everyone would look horrified. It was fantastic.”

    Alice said donkeys can be stubborn but Bubble had full trust in her carers at all times.

    “She loved a carrot and a scratch and a cuddle,” she said. “She’d come and lean on you, she was a massive character – I could talk about her all day!”

    Alice said as Bubble got older, staff worked closely with vets to ensure she was happy and “give her the best possible care and life”.

    “She never lost her spark,” she said.

    And when Bubble did show that the time had come, Alice made the toughest and best decision.

    “You have a responsibility to make that decision when you look after animals, and it was the right one but it’s so hard,” she said. “Hopefully we’re going to have a memorial here, to tell people about her. Lots of our members have been in touch to say what a character she was, which is really nice.”

    The park attracts a lot of visitors who may never have seen donkeys or farm animals before, and Alice said Bubble was always happy to give people their first experience.

    “She was always willing to greet anyone and get a scratch, which was lovely,” she said. “There are children who are scared to touch anything but if they go away having stroked animals, they might find an interest which is amazing. I wouldn’t have gone down this path without places like this when I was little. Animals like Bubble are so important.”

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