Animal control officers will try Thursday to capture a wild burro that was shot with an arrow, then eluded rescue efforts.
Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said the feral donkey was wounded over the weekend, and a concerned resident posted images of the animal to social media, catching the attention of authorities.
Welsh described the attack on the burro as a “terrible act of cruelty” that left the animal in need of veterinary care.
The burro was spotted in the Reche Canyon area, in the vicinity of the Black Stallion Ranch, north of Moreno Valley, and animal control officers went to the location Wednesday afternoon, Welsh said.
“We shot it with two tranquilizer darts, but efforts to capture the wild burro were unsuccessful,” Welsh said. “The darts should have been enough, and we are uncertain why they were not effective.
“It could have been a result of the animal being worked up earlier, prior to our arrival,” he said.
The arrow was no longer protruding from the creature when the darts were injected, but the wound was still visible, according to Welsh
Officers will return to the area Thursday morning to have another go at corralling the burro.
Welsh said the nonprofit DonkeyLand rescue organization has been alerted and will be enlisted to assist.
They asked anyone with information regarding who might have injured the donkey to contact the Department of Animal Services at (951) 358-7387.
Herds of wild burros populate the Pigeon Pass and Reche Canyon areas between Moreno Valley and Colton. Riverside County Ordinance No. 934 makes it unlawful to feed, pet or otherwise draw the donkeys toward roadsides and other locations where they might be hurt — or wander into traffic and cause accidents.