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Donkeys in Bethlehem Nursed to Health with Manuka Honey

January 01, 2016

Manuka Honey

Donkey Sanctuary Uses Manuka Honey for Medicinal Purposes

Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land is located just over 70 kilometers from the coastal town of Netanya, which is found in Israel. According to a post on HorseJournals.com, this sanctuary helps to provide care and protect for donkeys who have been beaten, abused, injured, or malnourished. According to Wendy Ahl, a member of the organization’s United Kingdom Office located in West Sussex, “The sanctuary in Israel is a four-acre site, currently home to just over 220 donkeys.”

“It is in an agricultural village known as a ‘moshav’ [a cooperative community of farmers]. There is a dedicated team of local staff caring for the animals, all of whom have been with the charity for some years. Feeding and mucking out is a full-time task and a veterinary surgeon visits daily to check on the health of the donkeys. A farrier and a donkey dentist also visit the sanctuary regularly,” Ahl said. One of the donkeys rescued by the organization is Burnie, who was brought to the sanctuary in 2007.

Burnie was a stray donkey who wandered onto someone’s property. The landowner, instead of calling the sanctuary to come retrieve the animal, deliberately set the donkey on fire in an attempt to scare him off the property or potentially kill him. After Safe Haven stepped in to rescue Burnie, all the parties involved denied knowing anything about what had happened to him and no one was ever identified as the person who committed this terrible act.

“Burnie was brought back to the sanctuary where visiting British veterinary surgeon Dr. Stuart Easby treated his wounds,” said Ahl. “He had such severe burns that it was touch and go whether we should have him euthanized, but we decided to give him a chance and applied intensive daily treatments to his burns, including Manuka honey.” Manuka honey has long been used to treat a number of skin and wound problems, especially for animals since it is a natural remedy.

“Eight years on, Burnie is a different donkey,” Ahl explained. “Some of his fur has even grown back and he is kept in an enclosure near the entrance to the sanctuary where he greets every visitor as though he were a large dog rather than a donkey.” Even though Burnie was terribly mistreated, the team at Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land was able to help nurse him back to health and happiness.

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