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Salford’s oldest: Jack the Donkey dies age 33

A dappled grey donkey who delighted children in Salford has passed away, much to the sadness of his long-time owners.

It’s thought that Jack, who lived in the stables at Clifton House Farm since the early 1980s, could have been as old as 33, making him the oldest of his breed in the city.

His advanced age is not uncommon: according to Guinness World Records, the oldest donkey in the world, named Suzy, died in 2002 in New Mexico at the grand old age of 54.

Owner Fay Davenport contacted SalfordOnline.com to tell us more about Jack and his faithful companions Raphael and Minnie.

“As a trio they were inseperable and were a great favourite with the children who came to Clifton Country Park to visit, offering them food to eat and petting them.”

Fay bought the farm eight years ago and Jack came “as part of the fixtures and fittings.”

Raphael and Jack at the Clifton farm stables

Raphael and Jack at the Clifton farm stables

“We adored him at first sight and we just knew that he had to stay with us,” says Fay, the Bursar at Bridgewater School in Worsley.

“In the winter of 2010 he became very ill, but we managed to help nurse him back to health with the aid of a vet and a lot of tender loving care.

“We decided that Jack needed a companion and so we found Raphael to keep him company and they were friends from the off.

Jack & Raphael 3

Firm friends Jack and Raphael at Clifton Country Park

Minnie and Jack peek over the stable doors at Clifton

Minnie and Jack peek over the stable doors at Clifton

“Last summer we adopted another donkey from Blackpool that used to take children for rides on the sands, named Minnie, and they became one big happy family.

“Oddly enough, Jack’s favourite food were bananas! He would open his mouth into a banana shape so they would fit in more easily, much to the children’s delight!”

Sadly just before Christmas 2015 Jack became ill again, passing away on Sunday 20 December from liver failure.

Fay decided it would be a fitting gesture to have Jack cremated at an animal crematorium at Leyland in Preston and have his ashes scattered over the fields which he so he loved.

We leave the final words to Fay: “Jack was a very genuine, decent, fun loving donkey and I know that he will be sadly missed by many children.”

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.