As I have written before, one important condition that should be present in an animal’s environment is the matter of choice. Creatures know their own minds to a much greater degree than we realize generally and they should have the option at all times to remove themselves from situations that are stressful or painful.
Here at the Sanctuary, we have made a recent addition to the donkeys’ environment, particularly those who are in the barnyard along with our visitors. Now there are two areas, aside from any closed paddocks that are already in use, where the donkeys can go to eat and to rest. Only those donkeys that enjoy to mingle with people are ever in the barnyard on Open Days and it is those donkeys who need places where they can go in order to be apart from human enthusiasm.
It has been interesting to watch the flow back and forth to the Donkeys Only areas on this Open Day as the donkeys have combined time with the visitors with time on their own.