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Baldomera, the local donkey that went viral

Daniel, Ismael and Antonio Fernández, with Baldomera, the world-famous donkey, at their farm in El Borge.
Daniel, Ismael and Antonio Fernández, with Baldomera, the world-famous donkey, at their farm in El Borge. / SUR
  • An Axarquía man has been contacted by international media after posting a moving video of him being reunited with his donkey after lockdown

Baldomera the donkey has become a social media celebrity after his owner, Ismael Fernández, posted an emotional video that showed the moment the two were reunited after two months in lockdown.

The famous footage was shot at the family's farm in the village of El Borge in the Axarquía on 18 May and has been watched more than 70 million times around the world.

"At the moment it's really popular in Argentina. It's moved from country to country as the pandemic spreads in different parts of the world," Fernández, 37, explained.

A Malaga-based journalist, Fernández has worked for different media agencies and as head of press at Torremolinos town hall for four years. However, the lockdown gave him time to think about the direction his life was going in.

He decided to return to El Borge, the village where he was born, along with his partner. "I had been thinking about returning to El Borge to live for years. The idea of living in the countryside and being with animals has always appealed to me" he admitted. "I know for sure that if there's a second lockdown I am not going to get stuck in the centre of Malaga," he added.

When his father retired in 2018, his brother Daniel, 34, and Ismael decided to help their father fulfill his dream: "When I retire I am going to buy a donkey and go back to the village," he would say. And that is how Boldemera, now five, entered their lives.

Fernández gave Baldomera to his father, a retired Torremolinos taxi driver, as a retirement present.

After two months without seeing the donkey, Ismael went to the farm on 18 May and filmed the reunion. The animal brayed and Ismael can be heard crying in the video. "I initially uploaded the video onto Facebook and made it private but then a friend phoned asking me to make it public, and from there people started to share it and it went viral," he says.

Since then, Ismael has given over 200 interviews with international media, including CNN, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.

Despite insisting that he doesn't want to make money from the video he has launched some merchandise including mugs, T-shirts and bags with the brand 'BaldomerayYo',

A British company has already filmed a documentary about their story, he's had offers to publish a children's book and he's talked to lawyers in the USA about selling the rights to the video.

Ismael says his main objective is to raise awareness of animal rights and to help in the fight against depopulation in rural Spain. The video can be viewed on www.baldomerayyo.com