A horse that ran wild along the Santa Ana River bottom, dodging animal control officers who tried to catch him on several occasions, was finally captured Friday with the help of workers from a Riverside landscaping firm.

Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said the male quarter horse mix was impounded after he was successfully locked inside that rear lot of the Toro Company’s property on Jasmine Street, which abuts the river bottom.

“The horse had been wandering around a section of the Santa Ana River in the Riverside and Jurupa Valley areas,” Welsh said. “Animal Services received many calls about it.”

The horse inhabited the area for roughly two months, but it was unclear how the steed got there, according to Welsh.

He noted the equine was skittish and not easily corralled. Animal control officers had tried to catch him, but on each occasion, the horse bolted, according to Welsh.

A makeshift pen was established on the backside of the Toro Company’s lot, and Welsh said the rear gate was kept open. Workers kept an eye out for the horse, and when they spied him sniffing around inside the pen, they slammed the gate shut.

“We appreciate the huge help from the folks at Toro,” Department of Animal Services Cmdr. Chris Mayer said. “We have been getting a lot of calls about this horse. We’re happy to be able to tell everyone we finally have the horse in our care.”

The animal was hauled in a trailer from the Toro Company property to the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley.

Welsh said there are some unknowns about the horse, including his age.

It was not immediately known whether the equine would be staying in the county shelter or be transferred to one of the Department of Animal Services’ partner horse rescue nonprofits for care.

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