Donkey “Adopted” By Herd Of Elk Believed To Be Beloved Pet Lost Five Years Ago1 Donkey “Adopted” By Herd Of Elk Believed To Be Beloved Pet Lost Five Years Ago1

Original article written by Binitha Jacob
Originally published by Bored Panda (Jun 17, 2024)

In a heartwarming twist straight out of a storybook, a donkey who went missing five years ago in California was spotted living among a herd of wild elk.

Max Fennell, a triathlete and hunter, captured the amazing scene on camera during a hunting trip, and the video quickly gained popularity online with more than 143k likes.

The donkey, spotted curiously standing among roughly a dozen elk, is believed to be Diesel, the beloved pet who was once lovingly looked after by Terrie Drewry and her husband, Dave.

Originally a wild donkey, Diesel was adopted through a Bureau of Land Management program, which allows the public to adopt wild animals captured during federal roundups.

Triathlete and hunter Max Fennell captured the video of a donkey roaming around with a herd of elk, garnering 143k likes online.

The pet donkey went missing in 2019 during a hiking trip along the Cache Creek Wilderness with Dave. After he went missing, a team searched for the lost animal for weeks but sadly never found him.

“We think a mountain lion might have spooked him,” Terrie told CBS Sacramento. “He just got away.”

Donkey “Adopted” By Herd Of Elk Believed To Be Beloved Pet Lost Five Years Ago2

Image credits: Max Fennell / Instagram

The couple, who live on a ranch near Auburn and look after other animals, had searched extensively for Diesel for weeks on foot and horseback. They also used a drone to find any signs of their four-legged family member.

The Drewrys searched for their pet donkey for weeks but eventually gave up when they couldn’t find signs of him.

“We finally kind of gave up,” Terrie told the outlet. “Just no signs of him.”

Five years after he vanished, the couple believe Diesel was adopted by a herd of elk and is happily roaming through the pastures of Cache Creek Wilderness with them.

The missing donkey must be about eight years old now, according to his former pet parents.

“I bumped into a herd of elk that have adopted a donkey,” Max wrote on Instagram as he shared the video of the blended herd.

“I can’t get over seeing it and I’m amazed that the donkey looks happy and healthy!” he added.

Terrie said she has no doubts that the donkey spotted in the middle of the elk herd is her former pet Diesel.

Donkey “Adopted” By Herd Of Elk Believed To Be Beloved Pet Lost Five Years Ago

Image credits: Max Fennell / Instagram

Terrie asserted that she was certain that Max's captured donkey was Diesel.

“It was amazing. It was like, oh my gosh. Finally, we saw him. Finally, we know he’s good. He’s living his best life. He’s happy. He’s healthy, and it was just a relief,” she told the outlet.

The Drewrys were glad that their former pet was doing so well in the company of a different species.

“Two completely different creatures, but they learn to get along and be each other’s family,” she said, adding that he has “killed coyotes protecting the herd and possibly a mountain lion.”

Happy to see him roam wild and free, Terrie said, “He’s out there doing what he’s raised to do.”

Terrie revealed that she and her husband have welcomed new donkeys to their home since Diesel went missing about five years back.

Now that Diesel is “truly a wild burro,” they no longer intend to bring him back home because catching him “would be next to impossible.”

“He’s out there doing what he’s raised to do,” Terrie added.

Banner credit: Terrie and Dave Drewry


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