Bainbridge’s favorite donkey passes away

Published 3:02 pm Thursday, October 8, 2015


George, Bainbridge’s donkey since the 1980s, passed away earlier this week.

Bainbridge lost an icon Monday just before noon when “George,” the city’s beloved donkey, passed on to graze in the pasture in the sky.

George was donated to the city in the early 1980s by the Harrell family, said Bainbridge Leisure Services director and long-time city employee Al Kelley. George lived in the city’s animal park along with his goat and emu friends at the Earle May Boat Basin.

According to local veterinarian Dr. Cliff Bailey, George died of natural causes due to old age after living past the average life expectancy for a donkey.

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“He’s been kind of a fixture in Bainbridge. There’ve been generations of children – there’ve been children’s children to love George,” Kelley said. “My daughter is 22, and she petted George when she was a baby.”

The city announced George’s passing on Facebook, which was received with hundreds of messages of love as citizens shared their memories of George, many of which focused on some of his favorite treats: anything you hand-fed him from apples and carrots to bread and ice cream.

“That tells you that a lot of people knew and loved him,” Kelley said of the online response.

City employees are currently in talks on whether or not to get another donkey for the animal park. The city recently had to get rid of its other donkey, Little Jack, because he was being aggressive toward George, Kelley said.

“You can’t possibly replace a legend like George,” said City Manager Chris Hobby. “We will take some time to reflect on the loss of George and then think about what would be appropriate.”

Many of the Facebook commenters noted that they hoped the city would get a new donkey so more children can enjoy the animal park and make similar memories.

George’s final resting place is located next to the current animal enclosure at the boat basin.