Braying Lancashire donkey ruins burglar's plans

Rescue donkey Jaffa alerted its owner at 1.30am, causing a would-be thief to run back "down the drive"

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The Independent Online

As guard dogs go, this donkey is outstanding.

When a wannabe intruder skulked around the home of Mary Beetham in the early hours last week, her fostered donkey Jaffa began braying loudly raising the alarm.

Retired PE teacher Ms Beetham, 73, jumped from her bed to see what the commotion was and “saw someone run down the drive” clearly spooked by the noise.

“I was woken up at 1.30am in the morning by the loud bray, [Jaffa] was obviously shouting his head off. He went on and on. It must have gone on for more than 10 minutes,” she said, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The would-be burglar didn’t manage to get away with any goods from her home, in Preston, Lancashire, in the incident on 18 June.

Ms Beetham had fostered Jaffa three months previously, after he was rescued in Ireland and tended to at The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon.

The shock of the event that evening left him in a state of distress and his cry was “stressed,” she said.

“They can die from this sort of incident and Jaffa needed calming down. I stayed with him for 30 minutes and calmed him down.”

She said she didn’t immediately consider her own safety: “I only thought ‘what was the matter with my donkey?’ It was later that I thought, ‘what am I doing here in my pyjamas?’”

Ms Beetham, who has been looking after donkeys for 17 years, alerted the police the next day.

“Jaffa was very quiet and sleepy, he was shaken up. But he’s fine now. He just shouts at the postman now,” she said.