Neglected Donkey Surprised Rescuers By Giving Birth

Tulip, a malnourished and neglected donkey, was rescued from horrible conditions after a neighbor called animal control. She suffered a lifetime of abuse and was bred over and over. The elderly donkey was in extreme pain and unable to stand for her babies to nurse, which resulted in them dying.

At first, the vet was deciding if her quality of life and condition would improve or if it would be more humane to euthanize her. The vet saw the will to live in her eyes and helped rehabilitate her for the first few months. Then the vet decided to call Flare Oaks Rescue, an animal sanctuary in North Carolina, to see if they would take the sweet donkey.

Photos: Facebook/Flare Oaks Rescue


Ashley Nelms, founder of the farm sanctuary, said “yes, of course” and brought her to the farm. The poor donkey had overgrown hooves that were starting to curl, open sores all over her body and in desperate need of nutritious food.

For the first few weeks, Tulip settled in by making new friends and she really took to a goat named Honeybun. The two would eat and sleep together. Slowly, she was starting to heal and received orthopedic boots to help her walk.

Photo: Facebook/Flare Oaks Rescue

One morning she surprised Nelms by giving birth to a healthy foal, which they named Josie. She had no idea that Tulip was pregnant because she was malnourished. “That’s right, Tulip AND HER BABY. Shocked?! Not more than me! Tulip is the worst case we have here,” posted Nelms.

It was a miracle baby and Tulip was not about to let her die. She stood and let the foal nurse.

Photos: Facebook/Flare Oaks Rescue

“Navigating her specific nutritional needs, healing her hooves and her surprise baby has been financially, emotionally and physically difficult but so worth it. She is worth it, her daughter Josie is worth it,” posted the rescue.

Tulip needed surgery to help relieve the chronic pain in her legs from decades of neglect. “Her strength and
determination to survive is truly inspirational.” She pulled through surgery and returned home to her precious baby.

Photos: Facebook/Flare Oaks Rescue


Although her journey has been tough, it was worth it. Tulip and Josie are both happy and healthy. “Today, she’s doing great! She’s off all pain meds and walks better than ever! She marches right over for treats and love and I just hope over time she is able to forget her devastating past. I’ve cried so much throughout Tulip’s journey, her ups and downs have been extreme but today, she’s happy and healthy and soaking in the sunshine!”

Tulip has changed Nelms’s life and she couldn’t imagine the farm without her. “Her bray has become the sound of home sweet home,” she posted.

Photos: Facebook/Flare Oaks Rescue

If you see something, do something. Tulip and Josie are safe because someone saw the terrible state Tulip was in and called for help.

Watch her overcome her horrible past and give birth to a beautiful foal in the video below.

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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who lives in West Michigan. Her horse and 3 dogs are her children. She loves to write and share her knowledge of equine and canine nutrition. In her spare time she likes to volunteer with animal rescues, camp with her husband and dogs, and trail ride with her horse.
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