"Today we have been able to free all the donkeys and horses from their burdens here on the square for a while, and them to have something to drink and eat," says Boubaker with a smile on his face. Where? At the Moroccan market in Skherat, near Rabat.
We - that's our team on site, Boubaker and, more recently, Ayoub, and Ali and Helena from Animals' Angels. We have been here since the early hours of the morning to bring relief to the animals on this day and to create more awareness and understanding for the animals among market visitors and owners.
At first it is still quiet on the meadow which is used as a 'parking lot' for the 'working' animals. Only a few donkeys and horses are already there. But soon the place fills up. From all sides visitors and vendors come with their donkeys and horses to do their business at the weekly market. We observe how an owner naturally unsaddles his donkey after arriving at the market and puts in front of him a box with roughage he has brought along. We are very happy to see this and it is a success of our tireless educational work on site!
We also meet the donkey lady Chorouk again today. During our last visit, our team had met her on site and treated her wound. Today she looks to be in better condition. But unfortunately she still has an unfitting harness that continues to rub against the wound on her chest. Ali therefore makes her way to the 'market tailer' to have Chorouk's harness upholstered.
Today we have a lot of time for each animal. We unsaddle them, give them water and food, and give them a lot of affection and care. This way we can get them out of their hard working day. We especially remember the stallion Ghali. He is always accompanied by a pack of four dogs. They are friends with each other and do not leave Ghali's side during the market day. In the beginning, Ghali is shy towards us and does not really know what to think of us. But in the course of the day he gains more and more trust in us and is visibly happy about the attention - yes, he even demands it again and again. It is so nice to see how the tired and overworked donkeys and horses can relax for a few hours!
Curious children, who spend the day at the market, join in with time. We explain to them how to unsaddle the animals properly and free them from their loads. And we explain to them that animals too have feelings and need to relax - in hope that we can create more understanding and empathy for the animals among future generations!