Southern California rescuers are trying to track down a wild burro spotted wandering with an arrow in his head.
As of Friday, the animal in the heartbreaking predicament had evaded capture — and help. It managed to sprint away from a wrangler on horseback Wednesday in Reche Canyon in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, even after it was hit with two tranquilizer darts, officials said. By that time the arrow had fallen out, but a bleeding wound by its ear was visible, local animal services Sgt. Dylan Gates told KABC-TV in Los Angeles.
Given the animal’s ability so far to evade capture, officials are hopeful that the wound is not life-threatening, according to a statement from the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Hundreds of wild burros roam the Reche Canyon area, making it more difficult to locate the right one, especially if it’s lying out of sight. Volunteers from the burro rescue organization Donkeyland are working with county officials to try to find and treat the burro.
The burro is likely about 3 to 5 years old and weighs at least 500 pounds, according to Donkeyland, which has organized volunteers to climb the hills seeking the wounded burro.
An anonymous animal lover has offered a $1,000 reward for information about whoever shot the animal, an act that could bring felony animal cruelty charges. So far the police have no suspects.
Wild burros are federally protected, and it’s illegal to harass, kill or capture them.