Belfast Telegraph

Donkey Daisy is happy to be home after four free days on the trot

By Chris Kilpatrick

Meet Daisy the donkey who gnawed her way to freedom and hoofed it seven miles from home.

The six-year-old sparked a widespread search and social media campaign after she chewed through her tether and escaped.

Crafty Daisy managed to evade capture for four days before being spotted and returned to worried owner Raymond Semple.

She is now back in the comfort of her pen in Ballyboley near Ballyclare, much to the relief of Raymond.

Retired Raymond, who is partially sighted, told the Belfast Telegraph he was delighted to have his pet back safe and sound.

"She's a wee pet. Daisy is such a friendly wee donkey," he said.

"I was getting worried. Last Tuesday I noticed she had disappeared and we looked all round for her.

"A friend came to help me look and we went round the fields and the other side of the valley but there was no sign.

"I was worried somebody had stolen her."

Raymond's friends erected posters appealing for information on Daisy in shops throughout the area.

And people were asked to keep an eye out for her on Facebook.

He said he feared the donkey had been taken or was trapped somewhere when he was unable to find the animal.

On Friday, a woman who had seen the appeal recognised Daisy in a field at Starbog Road, roughly seven miles from Raymond's home.

Armed with animal feed, Raymond set off with a friend and Daisy was all too willing to be heading home when reunited with her owner.

"A fella James McGee knew where she was and I called him," he said.

"His wife saw her at the side of the road and that's how we got word. I managed to get a horsebox and we went and got her on Saturday afternoon."

Raymond thanked all those who had helped him track Daisy down.

And he chuckled at her new-found celebrity.

"Daisy is famous now," Raymond said. "I'm relieved that she is home although I haven't let her out again after what has just happened.

"We'll be keeping a close eye on her now."

Factfile

Daisy the donkey is not the first animal to make a break for freedom. In May 2013 staff at Belfast Zoo launched a monkey-hunt after six macques managed to break out of their enclosure. Witnesses spotted the animals around north Belfast. All were returned safe and well. Last March a wallaby and baby joey went on the loose in Co Down, with police warning the public not to approach them. Tragically they died.

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