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Donation Brings Companion To Kona’s Most Famous, Loneliest Donkey

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The following is an article from West Hawaii Today.

KEALAKEKUA — Loneliness isn’t just a human phenomenon. Its existence has been well documented throughout the animal kingdom, from elephants to primates to canines.

It’s even prevalent with donkeys, the beasts of burden that served a fundamental function in the development of the coffee industry on Hawaii Island.

Just this week, perhaps the island’s most famous donkey — Charlie, the 30-year-old pack animal who has spent the better part of the last 15 years as a staple of the Kona Coffee Living History Farm — finally found himself a friend to share the load.

The Kona Historical Society, which operates the farm, announced Tuesday that its crowd funding campaign, “Charlie Needs a Bestie,” had resulted in the donation of a 6-month old donkey.

“We used to joke his only friends were chickens,” said Gavin Miculka, assistant program director at the Kona Historical Society.

“And those chickens were kind of selfish friends, because they’d just come around when he was eating and steal all of his food,” added Carolyn Lucas-Zenk, volunteer coordinator and development associate with the society. “He’s getting old in age. We wanted him to have a friend. Wouldn’t everybody want a friend instead of being here lonely, by yourself, with some selfish chickens?”

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