A ‘SWEET-NATURED’ donkey suffering tumours and overgrown hooves has been given a new lease of life after being abandoned at Appleby Fair.

Four-year-old Flash was found at the Eden fairground after his owners had packed up and left and has now been taken in by Donkey Sanctuary staff, who said he was ‘distressed’ and in danger when he was found.

“I was sorry to see him in such a state and in such danger,” said welfare adviser, Pam Moon, who found him near the fair’s ‘flashing lane’.

“It could have ended really badly or he could have caused an accident if he’d run out in front of the horses.

“It’s sad that he seems to have been abandoned - perhaps because of his health problems or perhaps because his owners failed to sell him.

“But we were glad we were there to help and to treat him and to get him away to safety.

“That’s what we were there for. We always maintain a presence at the fair to monitor animal welfare and to help in cases like Flash’s.”

The stallion was discovered untethered next to the flashing lane, where traders race their horses up and down at high speed.

He was at risk of injuring himself and others.

Enquiries were made by welfare officers on site but nobody came forward to claim him.

He was assessed and it was found he was suffering overgrown hooves and suspected tumorous growths.

These were treated on site by specialist vets and Flash was later taken to the safety of the Donkey Sanctuary.

Flash still has medical problems in need of treatment but he will now have sanctuary for life with charity.