Men holding equipment
Men holding equipment

Exchanging Zrika’s painful donkey harness

Poorly fitting equipment can cause discomfort and infection for working animals the world over. Read how SPANA vets treated Zrika the donkey when he was brought to our Moroccan centre with painful donkey harness and bit injuries.

Zrika the donkey and his concerned owner Hamid El Mansouri arrived at our Casablanca, Morocco centre first thing in the morning having set out before dawn.

Hamid and Zrika work long hours, wading through the city’s scrapyards looking for metal, often labouring under the baking Moroccan sun in temperatures as hot as 40 degrees.

Man looking at brown donkey

Although Hamid just about supports his wife and four children with the income from this, he struggles to be able to afford the right harness equipment to make Zrika’s work more comfortable – a common problem in all the countries where SPANA works.

‘Making do’ is sometimes all people can manage. The rough rope harness and rusty wire bit had begun to cut in to Zrika’s chest and the corners of his mouth, making it painful for the donkey to eat, drink, or walk long distances.

Hamid knew that he couldn’t let Zrika suffer, but worried how he and his family would make do if they stopped working for too long. He had to seek help and thankfully knew where to turn, making the seven kilometre journey from his village to get the help of SPANA.

Our SPANA Centre vets first examined Zrika and got to work cleaning and treating the wounds to soothe his pain. They recommended 15 days of rest during which Zrika’s wounds could start to heal, and suggested more frequent work breaks for both owner and donkey when Zrika was back on his feet.

Man with donkey near fecnce

Finally, the vets explained to Hamid the importance of using the right equipment and gave Hamid a modern, padded harness and a smoother, more comfortable bit. Hamid was relieved to receive such helpful advice and care and explained his struggles in looking after Zrika: ‘I tried to look after my own animal in vain for lack of means and fortunately SPANA is there to teach me how to take better care of him.’

Armed with a better understanding of how to prevent similar injuries from happening in the future, Hamid headed home, confident in his ability to better look after his donkey who means so much to the entire family.

You may also be interested in

Donkeys standing by fence

Champions for donkeys – Veterinary outreach

In South Africa we are funding a project to train four Working Donkey Champions in donkey welfare.

Horse is being bandaged in stable

Getting a filly feeling better

A young horse called Sawda visited our veterinary centre in Morocco with some painful neck swellings.

Two horses drinking near to group of people

Tackling malnutrition with training

Despite gruelling workloads, many of the working animals SPANA vets treat are suffering malnutrition.

Donkeys standing by fence

Champions for donkeys – Veterinary outreach

In South Africa we are funding a project to train four Working Donkey Champions in donkey welfare.

Horse is being bandaged in stable

Getting a filly feeling better

A young horse called Sawda visited our veterinary centre in Morocco with some painful neck swellings.

Two horses drinking near to group of people

Tackling malnutrition with training

Despite gruelling workloads, many of the working animals SPANA vets treat are suffering malnutrition.

Donate to SPANA to help the world’s working animals