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Long Live World’s Oldest Donkey

Eeyore celebrates his 54th birthday

He was born the same year the Russians sent Sputnik into space.

At 54 years old, Eeyore is believed to be the oldest living donkey in the world. (Most well cared-for donkeys live up to about 35 years.) He celebrated his birthday last week with carrots and hay at the Hunters Moon animal sanctuary in England.

Named after the gloomy Winnie the Pooh character, Eeyore is not a party animal; he prefers the quiet life, according to Selwyn Demmy, the owner of the sanctuary. When Demmy agreed to take in Eeyore earlier in January, he discovered that the donkey’s two previous owners had looked after him for over 50 years combined.

Demmy had learned from a friend that Eeyore was lonely at the farm where he’d lived for over 10 years, and where his two best friends, llamas Freddie and Merlin, had died.

Before that, Eeyore had been adopted by a 20-year-old girl who is now 72.

Demmy, who is 78 years old, has been taking in homeless animals at his 8-acre sanctuary for more than 25 years. He funds the operation with the money he made as a bookmaking tycoon.

“I take on all underprivileged animals here, despite what kind they are,” he told Britain’s Daily Mail. “I do this on my own to help the animals. If for whatever reason I can’t keep them, such as they don’t get on with the other animals, I get them re-housed elsewhere.”

When Eeyore arrived, Demmy introduced him to his llama, Buttons. The two were instant friends, but Buttons, who was 22, passed away a few weeks ago.

Then Demmy sent his two goats, Andy and Pandy, to the rescue. The trio are now inseparable.