The Riverside County Department of Animal Services is investigating the death of a wild burro that was found shot by an arrow last month in Reche Canyon.
On the morning of April 30, animal services, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol all received calls regarding an injured burro in Reche Canyon near Keissel Road and Mercadante Lane.
Photos provided by animal services show the donkey with an arrow piercing its underside.
The burro was herded into a safe location by officers and personnel from DonkeyLand, a nonprofit organization that helps protect the wild burros in the area, before it was transported to SoCAL Equine Hospital in Norco.
Despite treatment from the veterinarian and other staff members, the donkey could not be saved.
“This is highly disturbing that someone would purposely harm a defenseless animal and cause its death,” animal services director Erin Gettis said in a release.
“We’re certain that someone willfully shot this donkey with the intent in killing it,” animal services commander Josh Sisler said in the release. “The donkey was struck in a very vulnerable area and [the arrow’s] force was so strong it punctured through to the opposite side of the donkey.”
The animal was probably in severe pain and could not lie down to rest, he said, calling the main “shameless.”
Animal services staff members hope that the arrow, recovered from the burro and given to the Sheriff’s Department, may contain fingerprint evidence or other information that could help investigators.
Sisler asked Reche Canyon residents and visitors to be on the lookout for anyone suspicious with archery equipment or a rifle.
On its Facebook page, DonkeyLand lamented the death and abuse of the donkey it called “Bobby.”
“What a tragic life for such a healthy, innocent creature to be murdered,” the nonprofit wrote.