The day that Nelson Mandela was released from prison 25 years ago, a baby donkey was born at KSPCA. Both occasions were cause for celebration so the staff decided to call our new arrival Mandela in honour of the great man. Mandela lived up to his name by being a very special donkey. When he was old enough he learned to pull a cart and was used to give donkey rides at shows and children’s parties. He enjoyed his work and especially liked the fuss he got from the children and also the extra feed of bran he was rewarded. He was transported in a pick up with a frame and the cart was attached behind. After a few times of being hoisted up by our staff, one day he was lead to the pick up and he jumped on by himself. Ever after that he loaded himself. He was also a good example of how friendly and obedient donkeys can be if treated with kindness. Like all donkeys he was a bit of a character.
He was taken to St Francis Church every year to celebrate World Animal Day. One year the pastor decided to sprinkle the animals with holy water. Mandela decided he didn’t like that and showed his displeasure by turning around and almost knocking over the pastor and his entourage. They took flight and the solemnity of the occasion was lost. Another time, a guest from UK had come to visit us and went to stroke Mandela having been reassured that he was very quiet and friendly. Mandela maybe didn’t like her or was having an off day, but he decided to put her in her place by aiming a kick at her. Fortunately he missed! Once he started showing signs of aging, he was retired but he was still the leader where all the other donkeys passing through KSPCA were concerned. His health started deteriorating a few months ago but he was still eating and enjoying life. However one night last week, he decided to leave us. We shall miss him.