Thursday, August 5, 2010
No More Getting High For Russian Donkey
Parasailing donkey to fly no more, enjoy good life
Aug 04 2010
(AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Donkey Anapka undergoes medical checks upon arrival in Moscow's Kremlin horse riding school, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. Anapka was made to parasail high over the Azov Sea beach in a promotional stunt last month.
MOSCOW — The parasailing donkey will never fly again and can look ahead to a life of luxury.
The female donkey Anapka arrived in Moscow on Wednesday after her brays of terror over a southern Russian beach last month prompted a British newspaper to step in and buy her.
A recreation company had sent Anapka up into the sky for about 30 minutes for a promotional stunt and the YouTube video of her trip made headlines around the world. Upset readers of the The Sun had urged the newspaper to rescue her.
Other groups had threatened to kidnap the owners of the recreation company and parasail them across the Black Sea as punishment for their cruel and inhumane treatment of the donkey. A local magistrate said that if charges were brought against the owners of the company he would sentence them to five years cleaning up donkey dung at a donkey farm.
"Our readers were deeply moved," Sun correspondent Garry O'Shea told the Associated Press. "We were contacted by thousands of readers. They wanted us to ensure the well-being of this animal."
Anapka traveled from her small town by the Azov Sea to the Kremlin riding school outside Moscow, where her arrival was filmed by news cameras. The donkey was quickly surrounded by reporters and onlookers eager to stroke her.
The riding school's chief veterinarian, Arina Stepanova, said the 17-year-old donkey was tired after her journey but showed no signs of serious illness.
Her new owners, meanwhile, are reviewing different options for a new home.
Harry Redknapp, coach of England's Tottenham Hotspur football club, has volunteered to shelter the donkey in an animal sanctuary he is opening in Hampshire, O'Shea said.
The Sun also has received numerous offers to adopt Anapka, he said.