The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth to remain temporarily shut to visitors

The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth will remain temporarily closed to visitors despite the lifting of some lockdown restrictions from Saturday, July 4.

The international charity says huge numbers of people flocking to the attraction from across the UK poses a ‘heightened risk’ to staff who care for its famous animals.

Its HQ in East Devon welcomes around 400,000 visitors every year.

Faith Burden, executive director of equine operations at The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “Unlike other visitor attractions, we have numerous entry points to our sanctuary, along with areas of very high footfall in the centre of our site.

“This makes it difficult to safely manage the number of people coming on to the site and to encourage responsible social distancing.

“The safety of our visitors, staff and donkeys is paramount and is an overriding factor in our decision making.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation on a local, regional and national level, and when it is safe to do so, we will reopen our public centres and welcome visitors back to our site.”

Image courtesy of The Donkey Sanctuary.
Image courtesy of The Donkey Sanctuary.

Although the sanctuary is currently closed, visitors can enjoy a virtual catch-up with the resident donkeys by logging onto the charity’s webcams, or by reliving the recent online special event Sanctuary From Your Sofa.

The charity’s Ivybridge, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Belfast sanctuaries also remain temporarily closed to visitors.

PHOTOS: Little and large herd finds new home at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth 

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