Tributes have been paid to the world’s oldest mule who has been put down aged 56.
Tootsie was put down on 1 March owing to age-related health issues.
Tootsie arrived at the Donkey Sanctuary’s farm at Knockordbane, Liscarrol, in 1992 when his owner could no longer care for him and was later moved to the charity’s Hannigans Farm where he spent the majority of his time.
A spokesman for the charity said Tootsie “loved” being out in the paddocks and having “a good run around”.
“Tootsie lived a healthy and happy life. He was known to visitors who met him at open days at Hannigans Farm and to students and volunteers who have spent time at the sanctuary,” he said.
“He had a strong, independent personality, he loved his food and could be territorial about his place at the trough.”
The spokesman said Tootsie lived in the farm’s “super grannies” group.
“The super grannies are some of our more elderly donkeys and they receive a high level of care from our staff and volunteers,” he said.
“During the colder months they sport warm rugs and are kept extra cosy by infrared heat lamps and warm bedding. They receive special feed that is easily digested and nutritious.”
It seemed an ‘impossible task’ finding the six a home together
The sanctuary paid tribute to Nobby, Scott and Oliver
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
The spokesman said Tootsie did not respond to treatment after becoming ill over the past few weeks and due to his age and the fact his chances of recovery were low, the “difficult decision” was made to put him down.
“As throughout his life at our sanctuary, in his last moments, Tootsie was surrounded by vet and farm staff who had loved and cared for him,” said the spokesman.
“We are delighted and proud to have looked after Tootsie at our sanctuary. He was a mule with loads of personality, much loved by our staff and supporters.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.