Here's a feel-good story of animal friendship that sounds like something out of a children's book: A depressed goat who went on a hunger strike after becoming separated from his best pal donkey was reunited with his BFF and is eating again, animal officials in northern California say.
The goat, Mr. G, and donkey, Jellybean, were seized along with dozens of dogs and other farm animals from the southern California home of an abusive animal hoarder earlier this year, KTVU-TV reports.
The creatures were taken to separate animal sanctuaries, and when Mr. G arrived at Animal Place in Grass Valley, Calif., the 10-year-old goat refused to eat or go outside and just lay in the corner of his stall for six days:
They offered him treats like sweet grain and apples — favorite foods for a goat. But that didn’t work. Mr. G was given a thorough physical exam and appeared to be completely healthy. After four days, officials said something drastic needed to be done.
So they decided to reunite him with Jellybean the burro. A volunteer at the sanctuary embarked on a 14-hour drive to collect the donkey. And when Jellybean arrived, Mr. G heard him being unloaded and "immediately leapt to his hooves and ran to the door."
According to Animal Place, when Jellybean entered Mr. G’s stall, the goat "could not believe his eyes. In fact, he did a double-take! It was only when he smelled Jellybean’s unique scent that Mr. G realized the truth — his dearest friend had returned!"
Mr. G then "erupted from his prone position, snorting and inhaling Jellybean’s presence. He rushed after her into their outdoor pasture."
The pals are sharing a pen at the facility — and Mr. G is eating again.
"Never doubt the depth of emotions other animals possess," Animal Place said in a blog post. "Mr. G’s grief was as deep and mysterious as a human’s. His joy at reuniting with Jellybean was as beautiful and inspiring."