Nourou the donkey with painful harness wounds on his back.
Agonising wounds were caused by Nourou’s poorly fitting harness.

Nourou’s story

Seven-year-old Nourou transports water in Nouakchott, Mauritania to help his young owner, Oumar, earn a living. For 12 hours a day, under the burning sun, the small donkey pulls a heavy cart up and down steep sand dunes.

Each journey is perilous and, until recently, Nourou didn’t have a proper harness. Nourou’s heavy, unbalanced load put huge strain on his body, while his thin, unpadded harness rubbed against his skin and began to chafe.

Burning wounds opened up across his back and shoulders and soon these untreated sores developed a horrible, weeping infection.

Extremely concerned about his donkey’s welfare, Oumar took Nourou to SPANA’s mobile clinic for help.

Seeing the donkey in clear distress, the vets immediately gave Nourou painkillers before gently cleaning his wounds. They then carefully applied antibiotic spray to treat the infection and advised Oumar to rest Nourou until he had recovered.

Most importantly, the vets showed Oumar how to fit Nourou’s harness to relieve the pressure on his back and shoulders. They also showed him how to pad the harness using inexpensive local materials to make it more comfortable and breathable.

These basic adjustments to Nourou’s harness would protect him from further traumatic wounds.

A SPANA veterinarian treats harness wounds on a donkey.
After treating Nourou’s painful infection, SPANA vets explained safer harnessing to his owner.

If you’ve ever suffered painful blisters caused by badly fitting shoes, perhaps you can start to imagine the agony these animals endure as their harnessing rubs their skin raw every day for hours on end.

A kind gift from you today could ensure more donkeys like Nourou have suitable harnessing. Your donation can help our vets continue to provide immediate treatment for harness wounds, along with much-needed equipment like chest straps, bits, head collars and bridles. Your support could also help run harness-making workshops in local communities to prevent these horrific injuries in the future.

Will you please donate today and transform a working animal’s life?

Thank you so much for your support.

Thank you

Your generous donations will be used for projects such as those featured in this harness wounds appeal and where they are required the most to help animals in need.


To speak to our friendly supporter care team please visit our contact us page and get in touch.