Several years ago it was unusual to see donkeys in town, let alone in the suburbs. Then it was more common to see them pulling a cart of firewood or, as in this case, collecting garden refuse to take to the town dump.
Times change and donkeys appear all over town these days. We frequently see them walking along our street.
Unlike the Urban Herd of cattle, donkeys are more difficult to identify as individuals. If you observe them closely though, you will see that they do indeed look different from each other. Like most residents, I have become resigned to their presence and now actually enjoy seeing them about – like these ones seeking shade on a very hot day. They are a stone’s throw from our house.
They are generally very dear animals and many of them enjoy a pat or a gentle rub. One has to approach them very carefully though because some shy away from contact. They can sometimes be seen sharing the grassy park nearby with members of the Urban Herd.
This one is nibbling grass opposite a primary school.
These ones are waiting expectantly outside my back gate!
My main concern is that these animals pose a danger to traffic, especially at night for they sometimes choose to sleep or stand in the middle of a street. This means that we all have to be particularly wary when travelling at night – especially as not all the street lights work and, of course the town is plunged into complete darkness during the periods of Eskom load-shedding!