A DONKEY who made it to the inn just hours before Christmas Day has returned to its home.

The festive creature, which mysteriously went missing from Ferndown United Church in December, had formed the centrepiece of the church’s nativity scene for around a decade.

But just days after an appeal for information as to its whereabouts appeared in the Daily Echo, Deacon Mike Wareham received an email from a local pub a 10 minute walk away.

The donkey had appeared on Christmas Eve under the arm of an intoxicated man – and pub staff had stashed it away until spotting the appeal in the news.

Mr Wakeham said: “I got an email from the Pure Drop Inn in Wimborne Road East.

“It’s very local to us and so it seems the donkey didn’t make it too far away. We’re really delighted that it’s back home with us and we’d like to thank everyone who took the time to read about it.”

A plywood sheep from the same scene is still missing – if you have any information about its whereabouts, contact the church on 01202 871440.