An elusive wild burro shot by an arrow in one ear that led would-be rescuers on a chase through rugged Southern California canyons has been found, reported KABC.
Searchers initially found the male burro, originally spotted over the weekend with an arrow through its ear, on Wednesday, but it eluded them, John Welsh, spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, told KNBC.
“We shot it with two tranquilizer darts, but efforts to capture the wild burro were unsuccessful,” Welsh told the station. “The darts should have been enough, and we are uncertain why they were not effective.”
Welsh told The Riverside Press-Enterprise that the arrow had fallen out of the burro’s ear by the time rescuers caught up to him Wednesday, but said the wound still needs treatment. He called the burro’s maiming “a terrible act of cruelty.”
“The thing that people don’t really understand is that he’s a healthy burro, so he’s a lot more stronger than one that’s sick, injured or orphaned,” Amber Koko, founder of the DonkeyLand rescue organization, told KTLA. “Catching a wild burro — especially a jack — they’re fast.”
On Monday, searchers caught up to the burro again and were able to corral him so his wounded ear could be treated, reported The Riverside Press-Enterprise.
DonkeyLand, which posted the original photo of the burro with an arrow through his ear to Facebook on Saturday, has publicized a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.
“To some it might not be any big deal but to this burro, this is his life and he deserves to be safe,” the organization wrote, noting it’s illegal to shoot, kill, feed, poison, herd, rope or kidnap any of the wild burros in Riverside County and San Bernardino counties. “There is no excuse for harming or killing a defenseless animal.”
The person responsible could face felony animal cruelty charges, Welsh told KABC. Anyone with information is asked to call the Riverside County Department of Animal Services at (951) 358-7387.