Rahat's story begins in 2011 when he was wandering along with other donkeys in the city of Rahat in southern Israel and was caught by a group of teens.
The little donkey was completely helpless against the cruelty and brutality of the teens, who caught him, wrapped a plastic sheet around him, doused it in kerosene and set it on fire. The plastic sheet burned and scorched his body and back, leaving the donkey with horrific burns.
A Bedouin journalist who found him afterwards contacted the "Let the Animals Live" organisation who in turn contacted Pegasus, who immediately set off to rescue him.
When the team arrived, the journalist's brother led them to his back yard where they had hidden the donkey. There he was, tied up with a makeshift halter, burns covering his body. The sight was unbearable.
Rahat (named after the city in which he was found) looked up at the newcomers with sad eyes, and it was as if he understood they were there to rescue him, and stepped onto the Pegasus trailer with no resistance at all. Many donkeys are afraid to climb into the trailer, but it was as if Rahat knew that this was his way out.
Arriving at the sanctuary, Rahat saw the other animals, let out an enormous bray, stepped off the trailer and made his way towards them straight away. The Pegasus team began treatment straight away, with a combination of pain relief, salve for the burns and vaccinations. It's been a long rehabilitation period, but all that now remains from the awful abuse is a scar on Rahat's back leg. This scar is a daily reminder that as human beings, it is our duty to protect animals against abuse.
Rahat has settled into his new home really well. He is an adorable donkey and is very friendly!
Update (August 2013):
Rahat is the smallest donkey at the sanctuary, he is a bit shy and gentle but very curious.
When the Pegasus team went to take some photos of Rahat, he had just made his way back from the field to spend time in the stable with his new friend, Shalom (the donkey who was found by a soldier, abandoned near the Gaza Strip - see our July 2013 news). The two donkeys have become good friends since Shalom's arrival a couple of months ago. At first, Rahat hid behind Shalom, but once he realized that he was safe,he came out for a sniff and enjoyed a few hugs and kisses!
Enjoy these wonderful photos of this very special little donkey!
Update (September 2014)
Rahat was wounded in a fight with a new donkey that arrived at the sanctuary one month ago. The wound was superficial and healed quickly. He doesn’t let his small size put him off guarding his territory and herd from strangers. Rahat thinks he is a bit of a Rambo and lets everyone know it especially newcomers. He is still suspicious of people but it is understandable after being treated very badly and set alight by children in a Bedouin village. Rahat is coming up to approximately 10 yrs old.
Update (May 2015)
Rahat who is 11 years old now, is thriving here at the sanctuary. It seem like the trauma and horrible memories of the horrors he experienced at the hands of some teenagers is finally behind him. He is still a bit weary of new people, but has grown more relaxed and receptive to friendly attention. We had a pretty rough winter here (many cold storms) but he had weathered them well. Rahat however is still fiercely protective of what he considered "his" territory, and it takes time before he takes our new coming residents under his "wing".
Update (October 2016)
Rahat who, like the others, is lavished with love and care, seems to have forgotten that he was ever so abused and burnt, by wicked teenagers. He playfully rejoices each morning as the sun begins to appear, but only with the playmates of his choosing, and he seems to be delighted for yet another happy and secure day, in which he can celebrate his freedom from abuse and neglect forever. He is looking so healthy and strong.
Update (May 2017)
Rahat, once burnt by evil boys, is forever safe at Pegasus. He loves to energize the pack, sometimes challenging another donkey to a race. He loves to show off that he is now healed, healthy and happy, and never must worry about being set on fire ever again.
Currently sponsored by:
1. Robert & Monique McGregor, SA ($100)
2. Marcia Mueller, USA ($100)
3. Vanessa Sutch, NT ($100)
4. Ruth Farre, NSW ($100)
5. Jane Cleverley, NSW ($100)
6. Carmel Rauter, SA ($100)
Thank you for your support!