Riley the forgotten hinny gets new friends for Christmas

Stanley the donkey, Riley the hinny and Herbert the donkey at the Redwings Santuary. Picture: Redwin

Stanley the donkey, Riley the hinny and Herbert the donkey at the Redwings Santuary. Picture: Redwings Horse Sanctuary - Credit: Archant

Christmas is a time of celebration for many, and that's certainly the case for Riley the hinny.

Redwings is looking after more than 1,500 animals across the festive period. Picture. Redwings Horse

Redwings is looking after more than 1,500 animals across the festive period. Picture. Redwings Horse Santuary - Credit: Archant

The hinny, a relation of the donkey, the animal which famously carried Mary and the baby Jesus in the nativity, has been saved from being put down - and been given two new friends.

The rescued hinny, a cross between a male horse and a female donkey, had been suffering from extreme aggression and anxiety towards people and other animals.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary, near Hapton, took it in four years ago but unable to control its behaviour, it was too dangerous and nearing having to be put down.

The team did not give up though, with the festive period approaching they gifted the hinny its own specially built paddock and introduced two donkey companions.

Riley the hinny has been saved from being put down by the team at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary. Pict

Riley the hinny has been saved from being put down by the team at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary. Pictures: Redwings Horse Santuary - Credit: Archant


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Redwings' equine behaviour manager, Sarah Hallsworth said: 'We all held our breath as we had tried so many times to integrate him with other companions without success.

'Not only had we finally found the right equines for the job, but it led to a total transformation in Riley's behaviour.

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'It's an absolute joy to see him living happily knowing that after all these years of trying we have finally been able to secure his future and give him the peaceful life he deserves.'

When Riley was first taken in he had baling twine tied tightly under his muzzle cutting into his skin, and was covered in scars and bald patches. But the team at Redwings were able to get Riley healthy again.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings' Chief Executive, added: 'Our supporters have given Riley the most priceless Christmas present this year.

'Thanks to the commitment of the Redwings' team and the special friendship of two new donkey companions, little Riley is now enjoying a happy life in his own specially built paddock near the charity's Norfolk headquarters where he can peacefully live for the rest of his days.'

The animal rescue charity is looking after more than 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules around the country over the Christmas period, with a team of specialists vets working to keep them healthy through-out the holiday.

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