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Being orphaned at birth isn’t an easy way to start life. Ben is a baby donkey who was born at the Donkey Sanctuary in the UK. His mother was given over to the sanctuary and was already pregnant when she arrived. When Ben was born, unfortunately, his mother rejected him as her first foal. This means he didn’t get to suckle milk from her or receive any type of care and comfort after he was born. 

A video compiled by the sanctuary shows a forlorn Ben crying as an infant for his mother, lost and confused in this new world outside the womb. But the story soon gets better. 

The sanctuary had the foresight to pair Ben up with a special mare named Jingles. Jingles had already been a mom in life and didn’t have a bonded friend at the time. She was the perfect contender to help Ben out.  

The sanctuary placed Ben and Jingles together in a pasture in the hopes that they would bond. At first, Ben was frightened of the big mare, and wouldn’t let her come near. After some hours, however, Ben started to run around and Jingles got his attention. Her motherly instincts came back. Nuzzling Ben gently, Jingles got Ben to settle and follow her lead, and thus officially became his adoptive mother. 

The pairing has been so successful that Ben’s keepers now say you would never know he was orphaned at birth. ❤️ 

This story is just one of many the Donkey Sanctuary participates in every year. The non-profit organization is an international animal rescue charity that began in 1969 and baby donkey rescue is part of its mission. Founded by Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen in the UK, it now has outreach programs in over 40 countries worldwide and helps donkeys in every way. Click to learn more about their amazing story