Texas the Donkey receives an extra hand. Video / Supplied
Northland’s small town of Russell seems to be a place filled with eclectic tales, from missing macaws to new favourite – wonky donkeys.
It may sound like something out of a children’s storybook, but Texas’ adventure early last week was far from make-believe.
The 7-year-old ‘mammoth’ donkey was found in a stream last Tuesday morning – cold, wet, and according to his owner Antonio Pasquale, “kind of letting go”.
Pasquale believed Texas fell after attempting to follow his two companions up a hill. With a bad infection on his leg, the ascent proved too much, and he rolled down, landing in the stream at the bottom.
“I don’t know how many hours he was in the cold,” Pasquale said.
Pasquale found the injured and weak Texas and immediately sprung into action.
“We pulled him out as quickly as possible,” he said.
Using a truck, Texas was pulled out of the creek, before being lifted to his hooves by a digger courtesy of local contractors “Little Lots”.
The donkey had been lying down for so long that he was unable to stand on his own.
“Everyone (who helped) has been really good,” Pasquale said. He put the support down to the fact that Russell is a small place with good networking.
“In Russell, we know each other and they know the animals.”
Pasquale said Texas didn’t make any noise during the encounter, instead shedding a few tears.
“The donkeys actually don’t make any noise (when hurt), but they cry, you can see the tears.”
Texas received morphine to help with the pain in his leg and antibiotics, but he was far from out of the woods. His health continued to deteriorate over the following days.
Visits from the vet ensured his fluids stayed up and the infection stayed clean. At times, it seemed as though he was letting go again, even finding himself on the ground and needing to be lifted up a second time.
Little Lots was called again and “on their way like a fire brigade” according to Pasquale, but he was able to pull Texas up himself with his own tractor and the help of some friends.
Pasquale has three donkeys, Texas, Mocha and Giuseppe, and he said Texas is the clumsiest of the trio.
“Texas has always been a bit clumsy,” he said, “but he’s clever and very sweet.”
“When I bought the other two I said okay I’ll buy them, but this one is coming with me.”
“I have three of them because they hate to live by themselves.”
He said he has donkeys because they are “great companions.”
“I’ve always been interested in them, they calm me down a lot,” he said.
“Donkeys don’t have time for busy people,” he joked.
Texas is now “eating and drinking well”, according to Pasquale, and well on the road to recovery.
He’s gone back to his normal diet of oats in the mornings with mineral supplements and apple cider vinegar, as well as his regular grazing on grass and bush. He will be visited by the vet early this week to see if he needs another dose of antibiotics.
Texas may be a little wonky for a while, but the donkey’s story is far from over.