Newsbeat

The opera-singing donkey who 'found her voice'

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Media captionHarriet the singing donkey does a great Madame Butterfly

A donkey that was never able to "hee-haw" has become world famous for her operatic singing.

Her impressive voice has been compared to parts of the opera Madame Butterfly and has now been viewed over 700,000 times.

Martin Stanton, a neighbour who lives about 20 minutes away from the donkey, was paying her a visit and filmed her saying hello to him.

He posted the footage online - and Harriet's opera impression went viral.

"It's almost like she's finding her voice," Martin tells Newsbeat.

"She is such a sweet donkey and she loves all the treats. If you've got something for her, she tends to make that noise."

While Martin has been visiting her on and off for a few years during his walks to take photos of the countryside near his home, the first time he heard her singing was a few weeks ago.

Image copyright Martin Stanton / Storyful
Image caption Harriet the donkey - singing her heart out

"As I walked towards her, I started recording - and I think she was excited to see me, because she knew I'd have treats," he says.

"Then this sound came out and it cracked me up. I hadn't heard it before and I just thought it was brilliant.

"She could never make the donkey noise as such - the hee haw. She would be trying to do it, and nothing would come out."

There are plenty of donkeys lining the fields of Connemara. But this one has now reached global fame - and been interviewed by the national broadcaster RTE.

15-year-old Stephen McGrath adopted the stray donkey when she was just aged two.

And he didn't know his little donkey had a hidden talent until she unleashed it for the cameras.

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