Forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, Penryn-based donkey sanctuary, The Flicka Foundation, is appealing for help to continue to care for its resident donkeys and horses.

The charity’s sanctuary site welcomes thousands of visitors through its gates each year, but recent restrictions forced it to close a little under a week ago.

Charity representatives say this comes as a devastating blow, which seriously threatens its work.

Director, Judy Giles said: “As for so many other charities, businesses and individuals all over the world, this is an incredibly worrying time for us financially. We rely heavily on visitors coming through our sanctuary gates to feed and care for our precious donkeys, but, due to the ongoing pandemic, we have had to close until further notice. It also seems likely that our upcoming Silver Jubilee Anniversary events will be cancelled.”

Members of the public are welcome to visit the donkeys year-round, but the spring and summer months are the most popular and visitor donations, as well as vital income from the charity’s tea room and gift cabin, are used to feed and care for the animals.

Essential medications for the sanctuary’s residents currently cost £1,500 per month and their feed alone totals another £2000 monthly, so The Flicka Foundation says it is now urgently seeking funds from elsewhere to enable them to continue to care for their rescued animals.

Judy continued: “We know that being closed for an indefinite amount of time will leave us desperately low on funds to continue our work and we are extremely anxious about what the future now holds for our charity.”

Options for raising funds for charity are currently extremely limited with all events, public gatherings and non-essential travel banned.

“A number of kind people have asked how they can help our charity during what we know is a very difficult time for everyone and we really, truly appreciate this support - now, more than ever.” said Judy.

“We don’t yet know how long this situation will last or the long-term devastating effects it may have on our charity, but we do know that we simply must continue to be there for our rescued donkeys.

"They are blissfully unaware of the current global crisis, but they have suffered so much before we rescued them and they deserve only the very best second chance at life.”

You can make a donation to help on The Flicka Foundations website or support their work by Adopting a Donkey Adopters receive a special pack, including a personalised certificate, donkey story and photograph, newsletter, pen, magnet, car sticker, wristband and more.