Mum's the word for little JB

November 30, 2009

by Neil Clarkson

JB - aka Burrito, at a day old.

The young donkey colt is only 91cm tall.

Burrito and Charlie Brown.

Burrito and Lindley in the jeep.

JB, who lost his mum in a shooting within minutes of his birth, continues to take life in his stride under the care of his human mum, who admits she's a tad over-protective.

Lindley Barden's affection for wee JB is hardly surprising, given the round-the-clock feeding and care he needed in the crucial early days of his life.

JB, who is now known as Burrito, is seven months old on December 2, and remains as boisterous as ever, Lindley says.

The little white donkey made headlines early in May after his mum was shot dead just as her wee boy was born in a pasture in Cantonment, a suburb about 16km north of downtown Pensacola, in Florida.

Last week, the youth who shot his mum was sentenced to 11 months and 15 days in a county jail over the incident. Kyle Mason Driver will receive three years of probation on his release and has to give $US440 in restitution to Panhandle Equine Rescue, which organised the rehoming of Burrito.

"He is doing very well," Lindley says of her young charge. "He is enjoying the cooler weather."

Burrito continues to enjoy the company of two calves, Bobby and Charlie Brown. The abandoned pair were taken in by Lindley after being rescued from an island in an alligator-infested lake and are known as the Three Amigos.

Lindley says Burrito continues to show a lot of spunk and remains a bit naughty, although his planned gelding may well curb some of his enthusiasm.

He may have had a difficult start to life, but the future has never looked brighter.

"He will be loved and cared for for the rest of life," Lindley says. "We will do everything we can to ensure he is healthy and happy."

Lindley says she has been intending to check with Burrito's former owners to find out the height of his parents. He still stands at only about 91 centimetres (three-feet) at the withers.

Burrito has been living next door to Lindley's old rescue horses, and if he gets big enough she hopes he will one day be able to spend at least some time with them.

She'll be taking plenty of care to ensure he doesn't get into trouble with the bigger horses. "I guess I'm a little over-protective of him," she says.

Lindley talks of her anger over the death of Burrito's mum.

"I guess that I have more anger than others about Kyle and Burrito's chance meeting, after being with this baby burro for almost every minute since he was 12 hours old - and wondering if he would live.

"I am very protective of him, and very upset about how he came to be mine.

"Although part of me wished for a harsher judicial sentence, and hoped that Kyle would at least have to spend Christmas in jail, part of me truly hopes that Kyle's killing of Burrito's mother was the impetuous, foolish act of an over-energized teenage boy.

"I pray that this lenient sentence, and his incarceration, will allow him time to think about his lawless, cruel actions and cause him to make changes to his life accordingly.

"My plan for Burrito is to give him the best home, and best life possible. Although he seems to have few, if any recollections of his turbulent start in life, I plan to make sure that all his remaining days are trouble free!"