There is a place in Italy where donkeys help newborn lambs to make journeys. The mothers of the lambs follow close behind as the donkey nannies carry the babies. It truly may be one of the most adorable sights that you will ever see. In addition to being cute, this is a great example of how different animals species help each other.
Donkeys help the lambs move to different pastures when they are too young to walk that far themselves. Those little legs and fast metabolisms simply couldn’t walk that far without it being too taxing. That’s where the donkeys with the custom-made saddlebags come in. The saddlebag is perfectly tailored to fit lambs in.
This practice particularly is used in the north such as Lombardy. The journeys happen in the early spring when the lambs are born. The treks happen because the sheep need to be moved to different places for better grazing to take place.
Elspeth Kinneir of National Geographic explained, “In the early spring shepherds drive huge flocks of livestock, here sheep, mules, donkeys, and goats from the Pre-Alpine hills to the plains of Lombardy, for grazing. The newborn lambs are carried in a custom made side saddle by the donkeys and returned to their mothers at rest time. I was told that the hump on the donkey’s back is a cauldron!”
All of this cuteness has such an important purpose for the lambs and their mothers. But anyone who loves animals also gets to enjoy watching how adorable this all is. The lambs look so relaxed and cozy in those bags. They seem to trust their donkey nannies and maybe even some are enjoying the ride. It makes me wonder if the mothers might be very appreciative of what the donkeys are doing for their babies.