The Sathya Sai Donkey Sanctuary, Sligo

There is a hidden gem in Sligo and it’s a place that you really need to visit. Nestled in the Bricklieve Mountains, close to Carrowkeel Megalithic Complex, you will find a very special place. The Sai Sanctuary was founded in 1991 as a rest home for donkeys and ponies. The Sanctuary’s aim is to provide a place of refuge for elderly, unwanted, sickly, abandoned or abused donkeys, small ponies and a few mules and larger horses.

At the moment there are over 100 donkeys and ponies at the sanctuary and they are the most beautiful creatures. You can find out more about the donkeys in the visitor centre – some of the stories are heartbreaking, it’s awful how some of the animals have been treated.

I made friends with Violet, who followed me for a while, she was just so lovely and gentle. It’s such a beautiful place, I walked around the grounds and heard my first cuckoo of 2023.

I also loved listening to the donkeys bray, one started and then the others joined in. They all have their own personalities, a bit like people, they are also very intelligent animals and seemed to know what was being said to them.

The sanctuary is open to visitors every weekend from – 1st April to 31st October, including Bank Holidays. If you’d like to visit on a weekday you can contact the sanctuary first to make arrangements. You can bring ginger nut biscuits and carrots for the donkeys and you can leave a donation to help Sue and her team of volunteers keep up their wonderful work. Find out more on the website:

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