When villagers in India found a wounded baby donkey, they quickly called a team of experts to come to its aid. But the villagers could also see that the poor animal had received multiple injuries and was in a really bad way. In fact, the donkey foal was on a knife’s edge for survival by the time that the rescuers arrived.
On September 23, 2016, a video of a young donkey’s struggle for survival was uploaded to YouTube by Animal Aid Unlimited (AAU). The video told the story of how the animal charity group had received a call about the wounded foal and was determined to do everything it could to rescue her.
Based in Udaipur, Rajasthan, the AAU organization is no newcomer to rescuing animals off the streets of India. After all, its doors opened in 2002, and since then it has treated over 50,000 animals – or roughly ten patients every day. Currently, the sanctuary has about 100 animals under its full-time care.
Indeed, the group has grown massively since its debut into the world of animal rescue. For instance, AAU now has a hospital with a team of trained vets and a sanctuary to care for patients that can’t be released safely due to long-term injury. Plus, it even has an outreach program to educate others about animal treatment.
On this particular day, however, the injured donkey, which later came to be called Genevieve, was not the only one in distress. No, the donkey’s mother was apparently so worried that she refused to leave her baby’s side. The villagers too had already displayed a touching amount of concern.
You see, the yellow substance that Genevieve was covered in turned out to be turmeric powder. Yes, the villagers had applied the powder to the donkey’s wounds to try to stop the bleeding while they waited for the arrival of Animal Aid Unlimited.
Often providing the yellow color in curries, turmeric powder is actually made from the rootstocks of the Curcuma longa plant. What’s more, some physical therapists will recommend turmeric after certain injuries, and many people swear by its healing properties. These include antibacterial qualities and help in clotting blood on open wounds.
Although it’s not clear what had attacked Genevieve, AAU identified her wounds as bites from some kind of predator. And, based on the amount of turmeric with which the villagers had covered her, it was obvious that the extent of her wounds were severe.
It’s likely – although this is merely speculation – that a hungry meat-eater saw the young foal as an easy meal but was outrun by the donkeys or fought off by Genevieve’s mommy. Indeed, India has a number of predators that could have been responsible for the bites, including jackals, wolves and even wild dogs.
But don’t underestimate Genevieve and her mom. In fact, donkeys are actually quite aggressive to predators, and some shepherds even use them as guardians for their flocks. After all, you always know when a donkey is upset from the sound of its loud bray. And if a flock’s predator isn’t deterred by that noise, then it better watch out for a donkey on the attack. Those front legs can deliver a fatal kick.
Animal Aid Unlimited explained that poor Genevieve had been the victim of a nasty attack and received “multiple deep wounds.” In total, she had more than 12 bites over her body and was in desperate need of medical attention.
“The shock alone might have been enough to kill her,” AAU’s official website reported, noting that her “worried mother was also desperate to help.” Yes, Genevieve’s mommy continued to fuss over her baby; she kept nuzzling her and trying to clean her wounds.
Even though the situation looked bleak for the bleeding foal, AAU rescuers were not going to give up on her without a fight. If she was going to stand a chance at survival, though, she needed to be taken to AAU’s hospital.
While the baby donkey was carried to the vehicle, her mommy ran behind the team and stayed as close as she could. She seemed desperate not to let her foal out of her sight and even ran around the truck once Genevieve was loaded into it.
Thankfully, she didn’t have to worry about being separated from her baby for long. “Momma thought we were taking her baby away from her,” the rescuers captioned their video. “But of course, she was coming too.” With Genevieve safely in the truck, it was time for her mommy to join her.
Although momma donkey was hesitant at first, the team managed to catch her without much fuss and loop a rope loosely around her neck. Then she was lifted off the ground and carried to the back of the truck where she was reunited with her baby.
Once the rescue team got the little donkey safely to Animal Aid, the first thing they had to do was get her clean. Yes, the turmeric was washed off so the vets could see just how badly Genevieve was injured and treat her wounds accordingly.
As the vets did their work, Genevieve’s mother watched anxiously but, crucially, didn’t make a move to intervene. “Now momma seemed to know that we were helping her baby,” the group’s video captions explained as the foal was cleaned and treated.
“Some of the wounds were very deep,” AAU explained. “But daily wound dressings and her momma’s constant love helped her heal fast. Meet Genevieve today!” Thankfully, and despite her heavy wounds, the little donkey made a full recovery at her mother’s side.
Of course, AAU is very grateful for the donations and support it gets from the public. These allow it to continue to help injured animals of India, after all. “Without emergency rescue, this almost surely would have ended in tragedy,” its official website reported. “But thanks to your support this loving mother has her beloved baby by her side today.”