The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is mourning the ‘deep loss’ of one of its residents today (Thursday).

Blossom, who was one of the small group of six adoption donkeys, passed away this morning with her friend Belle beside her.

Blossom was well known across the Island and for many groups, she was a special donkey.

She was adopted by St Mildred’s Church in Whippingham and was their Palm Sunday donkey – leading the procession of their congregation into the church.

A spokesperson for the sanctuary said:

“Blossom had a number of stomach problems and intolerances, and readers will know that Blossom was a part of a number of pyjama clubs.

“Several times in the last year we thought that we would lose her; she struggled with eating and although we ran many, many tests and couldn’t find a clear cause, she kept getting minor colic which we were successful in treating.

“However, we were never sure that we had got to the real cause and sadly she became very ill in the late afternoon on Wednesday.”

Despite all the team’s efforts, the sanctuary says Blossom decided it was “time to go over the rainbow bridge”.