Pet donkey was thought to be gone — 5 years later he’s discovered alive with unexpected new family


It’s always fascinating to watch the friendships that may form between creatures from different species. Animals are occasionally adopted and accepted by other species as if they were their own.

Recently, a previously thought-gone donkey was discovered with an unexpected new family.

Max Fennell, a triathlete and outdoorsman, was on a hunting expedition in March when he spotted an unexpected donkey amid the elk herd.

Fennell could not believe what he was seeing, describing it as “one of my wildest hunting trips to date.” The donkey walks and reacts with the herd as if he were one of the elk, fully accepted as such. It looked like something out of a children’s book.

“I can’t get over seeing it and I’m amazed that the donkey looks happy and healthy!” Fennell posted on Instagram.


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As if the unexpected sight wasn’t enough, Fennell quickly learnt the donkey’s extraordinary narrative.

One reader told him that the donkey was “actually a legend” and had been “running with the elk for years now.”

The donkey’s original owner then reacted, revealing that he had ended up with the elk after going missing five years before.

“It was heartbreaking at the time,” David Drewry wrote. “Glad to see he is helping the heard grow.”

Dave and his wife Terrie live on a ranch near Auburn, California. They told that the donkey, named Diesel, went missing in 2019 while on a hiking trip.

They say a mountain lion scared him away, and after years with no sign of the donkey, they assumed he was gone for good.

But they were startled to hear that Diesel had not gone; he had simply found a new family — and a new life as a wild elk. The former owners were delighted to see their old companion alive and well.

“It was great. It was like, “Oh my goodness.” We finally spotted him. Finally, we know he is good. He is living his best life. He’s happy. Terrie told CBS Sacramento, “He’s healthy, and it was such a relief.”

“Two completely different creatures, but they learn to get along and be each other’s family.”

Not only did the elk seem to welcome him as one of their own, but Diesel seemed to have been guarding the herd from predators such as coyotes and mountain lions.

At this point, the 8-year-old donkey has spent the majority of his life among the elk, and the owners think it would be “next to impossible” to bring the “wild burro” home.

They accepted that it’s best to let him be in the wild — after all, it seems Diesel has finally found his calling. “He’s out there doing what he’s raised to do,” Terrie said.

The post Pet donkey was thought to be gone — 5 years later he’s discovered alive with unexpected new family appeared first on Timeless Life.

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