Donkey whisperer is no ass kisser

2015-09-23 08:41
(Picture: NSPCA via Facebook)

(Picture: NSPCA via Facebook)

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Johannesburg - Whipping, under feeding, overworking, and lack of medical treatment are some of the problems NSPCA Inspector Matome Semenya has to prevent as he travels around the country for the sake of the humble donkey.

He is one half of a two-person team that is the Donkey Upliftment Project run by the NSPCA, and which he joined in May last year. It is sponsored by the Donkey Sanctuary UK.

Donkeys are used countrywide, but mainly in the rural areas of Limpopo and North West, to carry people and goods. Often donkey carts are overloaded as the owners want to use them to make more money, and because they work long hours they are denied time to graze, Semenya says.

Semenya spends most of his time in the field, showing people how to make harnesses that do not hurt the animal, and educating them about how to look after them. He recently returned from the North West, and leaves for a two-week trip to Limpopo on Wednesday.

"There are only two of us for the whole country. Sometimes you have to spend three weeks away. It’s a lot of money, you need petrol, accommodation. It’s really a challenge, especially with the funds," he says.

Donkeys are critical to the survival of poor communities, according to his colleague and training department manager Morgane James.

"Literally without donkeys many families would suffer – they transport water, wood for cooking, food, and transport people, especially the elderly, to clinics and pension payout points."

Semenya says they are focusing on educating schoolchildren as they are the ones who mainly use donkeys. He says what motivates him is his love for animals. Before joining the NSPCA he spent the past 14 years working in pet shops.

Read more on:    animals

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