Bella Burro, the Three-Legged Donkey: A Little Survivor's Story

Posted by Samantha Bubar

Bella Burro may be small in the donkey world, but this little survivor is not lacking in determination!

Despite a rough start in life, this miniature donkey is a survivor. Bella has persevered through the worst and if it wasn't for a couple in Minnesota who cared, Bella would not be here today.


Being taken from her mother at only two months and found in the hands of a negligent breeder, Bella was found in -15 degree temperatures, malnourished, anemic, and suffering from frostbite in all four legs with severe hypothermia.

The odds were stacked against little Bella Burro.

After finding the little donkey, the kind couple rushed Bella to the hospital. The vet explained she may need to be euthanized. Her rescuers agreed to fight for the little donkey as long as she was fighting, too.

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Thus began the "Save Baby Bella" campaign to get Bella to Wyoming to see a renowned veterinarian to perform an amputation. Amputation is a rare surgery in donkeys and is expensive since there is low demand. It ended up costing $10,000 to amputate Bella's leg and another $2,500 for the make-shift prosthetic leg.

In many cultures donkeys are used for labor and not cared for as pets so euthanization is more common. Bella was given a chance at survival.

Bella first received a peg-leg of sorts. This minimal option would have worked short term, but it proved to be a bit awkward for daily movement.


The campaign was successful and the renowned prosthetic company Hanger, Inc. fit Bella with a prosthetic leg, and she spent the next few months re-learning how to walk. This is the same company that provided Winter the Dolphin, from "Dolphin Tale" with his prosthetic fin.

Bella's prosthetic leg fit and she is back to being as normal as can be.

"She's so happy," Ann, her owner, said. "She literally does not know she doesn't have a leg."

Bella now lives with the couple that saved her along with three pygmy goats. They all live, play, and eat together in harmony. Bella even meets with disabled children, since her story is so inspiring.

"She's super sweet," Ann explained. "She loves people, she loves affection. She's very used to having people 'hands-on' because she's had that her whole life ... she's pretty popular around here."


Bella Burro is a true example of perseverance, courage, and determination. All it took was a couple who cared to give her a new chance at life. Her owner Ann made it clear:

"Well, she's still here, she's still surviving. I don't want to put her down if she's still fighting."

In the face of adversity, all Bella needed was someone to care. Follow Bella Burro on Facebook to see her living a better life.

All images via Bella Burro on Facebook.

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Bella Burro, the Three-Legged Donkey: A Little Survivor's Story