The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary has announced the sad news that their much-loved donkey Busby passed away on Sunday.
Busby had been poorly for a while, but events took a sudden turn for the worse on Sunday afternoon and he collapsed. The emergency vet was called, and after referring to scans and tests previously undertaken, Busby was diagnosed as having a tumour wrapped in his intestine, preventing him from eating and causing severe pain. Busby was already battling a heart condition and there was no other option than to have him gently put to sleep. Busby’s keeper, Simon is inconsolable.
Busby was already in his late twenties when he arrived at the sanctuary in 2013. His owners David and Adrienne were moving to the Island from their previous home in the French village of Gers in the Pyrenees, and wanted a caring home for him. Busby was the biggest donkey ever taken in at the Sanctuary and was a gentle giant. He adored fuss and attention and soon became one of the ‘select’ group of adoption donkeys. Everybody spoke to him in French and ‘Bonjour Busby’ could be heard resounding around the Sanctuary from schoolchildren, keen to brush up on their language skills.
Busby’s favourite outing was on Palm Sundays through Shorwell to the church and on Christmas Day he was the star attraction at Warners hotels. In 2017 a one hour visit to the Norton Grange Hotel with Santa and a few carrots, started at 10.00am and didn’t finish until 2pm, such was his popularity – and his appetite! The following year Busby led Santa into the Bembridge Coast Hotel, Santa had to take a back seat as Busby knew HE was the star!
Busby loved being stroked, adored being groomed, and loved those moments where he had ten minutes in a field with Simon, usually with his head on Simon’s shoulder, contemplating life and planning their next trip together.
Busby was one of the sanctuary’s real characters and will be very sadly missed.