Veterinarians Treat Working Animals’ Wounds, Injuries, Lameness, and Colic at No Cost to Their Owners

For Immediate Release:
March 11, 2020

Wadi Musa — In only three months, PETA’s veterinary clinic in Umm Sayhoun has treated over 600 donkeys who have been injured or overworked while carrying tourists and even trash up the 900 steps to the monastery in the historic city of Petra—all at no cost to the animals’ owners.

Photos are available upon request. PETA’s team has treated donkeys suffering from the following ailments:

  • Painful saddle and tack sores
  • Lameness caused by overwork or hoof or joint problems
  • Hoof deformities and abscesses from being forced to carry heavy loads
  • Severe habronemiasis, a skin condition transmitted by flies landing on open wounds
  • Wounds from being deliberately slashed with razor blades
  • Severe anemia and other mineral deficiencies caused by inadequate nutrition (Many donkeys eat only what they manage to scavenge from trash cans at night.)
  • Colic, often as a result of eating plastic from trash cans (Plastic bags can become lodged in the intestines and gradually completely obstruct them, leading to a potentially fatal intestinal rupture. Such cases require emergency surgery.)

The team has dealt with the following individual cases, among hundreds of others:

  • A pregnant donkey had been pushed off a cliff by children. She was in tremendous pain, and her hindquarters were paralyzed. She had lost both motor and sensory functions.
  • Another donkey had been beaten in the head 14 times with a heavy, sharp object, causing his right ear to become almost completely detached. PETA’s veterinarians had to use 80 stitches to save his ear and sew up his facial injuries.

Donkeys in Petra lead extremely hard lives, and PETA hopes mechanized vehicles can soon replace them and other working animals.

“PETA’s clinic has treated hundreds of donkeys, many of whom were seeing a veterinarian for the very first time in their lives,” says Dr. Hassan Shata. “From wound care and lameness examinations to treatments for colic, dietary deficiencies, and more, we are helping the working animals of Petra.”

Members of the media are invited to the clinic to see the animals and take their own photos.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit