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Elderly donkey who inspired Eddie Murphy's Shrek character awarded $10k

Elderly donkey who inspired Eddie Murphy's Shrek character awarded $10k

Perry the donkey has received a $10,000 grant to help fund his care and medical bills

An elderly donkey who inspired Eddie Murphy's iconic Shrek character has received a huge payout.

Pericles - who's known as Perry for short - currently resides at Barron Park Donkey Project in Palo Alto, California, where he's been living his best life for almost three decades.

The adorable donkey was donated to the pasture in 1997 after having previously been used as a calming companion for thoroughbred horses.

But when Perry's friendship was no longer needed, he was shipped off to Barron Park Donkeys for a new life and has been there ever since.

Perry is cared for by the Barron Park Donkey Project (@bpdonkeys/Instagram)
Perry is cared for by the Barron Park Donkey Project (@bpdonkeys/Instagram)

Perry, who turns 30 this weekend, is best pals with his fellow sanctuary residents, Buddy and April.

He was also close to Niner and Mickey, both of whom have since died.

While the donkeys are famous in the area just for being so darn cute, Perry in his own right is quite the celebrity as he inspired the character Donkey in 2001 movie Shrek.

Eddie Murphy voiced the character in all three films - and even hopes to reprise the role in the future.

As to how Perry played his part in the movie, DreamWorks-owned Pacific Data Images came to visit the pasture and took many pictures of Perry to learn about what donkeys look like and how they move, the sanctuary's website explains.

Perry helped created the character of Donkey (DreamWorks Pictures)
Perry helped created the character of Donkey (DreamWorks Pictures)

While they use Perry's likeness for Donkey, sadly the adorable donkey didn't get a shoutout in the movie credits.

Pacific Data Images reportedly donated just $75 to the charitable organization for their time with Perry.

Donkeys like Perry can live to be as old as 40 years and, as they age, their medical bills becoming increasingly higher.

And with Perry's 30th birthday on the horizon (in addition to the care of Buddy, 24, and 15-year-old April), Barron Park Donkey Project has found themselves forking out as much as $40,000 to pay for the trio's care.

Basic care without medical bills comes to around $25,000 a year.

But they're now set to receive a significant donation Mayor Greer Stone and the Palo Alto City Council, consisting of $10,000.

Perry turns 30 on Sunday, June 9 (@bpdonkeys/Instagram)
Perry turns 30 on Sunday, June 9 (@bpdonkeys/Instagram)

The donation is under the conditions of a matching grant, meaning the project also needs to fund $10,000 of its own money and donations.

The money is coming from City Council’s contingency fund, which has $77,000 left to spend, as per the Los Angeles Times.

Jenny Kiratli, the lead donkey handler, said of the work they do and sanctuary's three donkeys: "People visit the donkeys because it’s a calm place to go. The world makes sense when you’re there."

She added: "There is something very therapeutic about donkeys. It’s a break from the stresses and the pace of Silicon Valley."

You can donate to the project here.

Featured Image Credit: @bpdonkeys/Instagram / DreamWorks

Topics: Animals, Celebrity, Film and TV, Money