A massive donkey is stunning visitors to a sanctuary in Huttoft because he is just one inch away from being the biggest in the world.
Radcliffe’s Dynamic Derrick - or simply Derrick to the volunteers who have cared for him since he was born five years ago - is 5ft 7ins tall and still hasn’t stop growing.
This means that the current world record holder - a fully grown Texan called Romulas - had better watch out because there is every chance Derrick is going to beat him.
Derrick is an American Mammoth Jackstock Donkey, which are naturally huge as a breed. His mum, Miss Ellie, also caused a stir when Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary rescued her in 2012 because no-one had seen a donkey as tall as a Shire Horse before.
She quickly took a liking to a donkey called Louis and, as a result, Derrick was born.
“We knew Derrick was going to be big so we had ‘Ellie Vision’ installed so we could watch her,” said volunteer Ross Clarke. “Derrick was born in the stable behind where we cut the carrots which are the donkeys’ favourite treat.
“He’s always loved them and has never wanted for anything - he’s had only the best food, which has probably helped him grow so big.”
This includes two haylage bales as well as lots of grazing in the summer.
Now standing taller than his mum and dad, Derrick is a big softy at heart. “The only time he’s know you over is if you don’t see him coming and he wants you to scratch his head,” said Ross. “He’s like a big dog really.”
The Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary was opened in 1999 by Tracy and Steve Garton and is a non-profit making organisation, existing purely on donations by members of the public and fund-raising efforts by the helpers.
Many of the donkeys at the sanctuary have been rescued from cruelty and the sanctuary enables them to enjoy their remaining years comfortably.
With more than 50 donkeys, five horses, two zeedonks, a few mules and some chickens and ducks to care for, this means a huge cost to the sanctuary in food and vet bills.
“Easter has been fantastic for us but we will soon be open at weekends which is a welcome boost to funds,” said Ross.
As well as meeting the donkeys and other residents, visitors can enjoy a snack at McDonkey’s Diner.
They are also encouraged to buy a bucket of carrots for the donkeys. Ross said: “As you imagine it can be manic.”
A website is currently under construction but for now, for details of opening dates, visit Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary on Facebook.