Sadness as Zippy the Elsing donkey dies

Zippy, the Elsing donkey, has died. Picture: Ian Burt

Zippy, the Elsing donkey, has died. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A donkey who had been a big part of community life in a village near Dereham has died.

We reported last week how people in Elsing had been raising money for an operation to save Zippy who had a tumour.

Zippy and his brother George, rescue donkeys from France, had been hugely popular characters in the community and had lived in a field by the village hall for four years.

But after Richard Payne, a world expert in laser surgery, from Newmarket, assessed Zippy's condition it was discovered that Zippy's condition was much worse than first thought and a major operation would be needed.

Genine and Ken Thompson, who live in Elsing and looked after the donkeys, decided the operation would be too traumatic for Zippy and, with no guarantees that it would be successful, the donkey ought to be put down.


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He was given a lethal injection at his Elsing home on Monday.

Mrs Thompson, 58, said: 'We took the decision on the advice from the professionals.

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'It was the best thing to do as responsible pet owners.'

She added: 'We've been overwhelmed by the support we've had and Zippy and George have really brought this community together in an amazing way.'

Mrs Thompson said two trees will be planted and a plaque will be placed in the village garden, by Elsing Village Hall, in Zippy's memory.

The race is now on to bring one or two more donkeys to Elsing to keep George company.

Mrs Thompson said: 'Donkeys are very sociable animals and need company.

'We've been told that after two weeks he could end up suffering from hypoglycaemia, from stress, causing his liver to shut down.

'He could die from loneliness if we don't get him some company soon.

'I'd urge everyone to come down to the village hall and keep him company.'

The Thompsons plan to visit The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth soon to find one or two young donkeys to bring back to Elsing.

Mrs Thompson said: 'We are not simply replacing Zippy - he is irreplaceable.

'We are just looking to find a home for one or two other donkeys who need help.'

Villagers raised about £1,000 towards Zippy's operation.

Mrs Thompson said money has been used for the vet's bills and having Zippy put down.

Leftover money will be spent on the memorial trees and plaque as well as supporting any future funds needed for the welfare of George and the new donkeys.

Further donations are welcomed towards this.

Mrs Thompson said: 'We want the community to remain heavily involved and come forward with suggestions as to what the new donkey or donkeys could be called and other things that we can do for them.'

To make a donation, call the Thompsons on 01362 638542.

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