This California Donkey Went Missing 5 Years Ago. It’s Thriving With An Elk Herd Now – News18

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The video shows the donkey grazing and moving alongside more than 10 elks. (Photo Credits: Instagram)

The video shows the donkey grazing and moving alongside more than 10 elks. (Photo Credits: Instagram)

A donkey named Diesel, missing since 2019 in California, was recently discovered among a herd of wild elk.

A donkey, who disappeared during a hike in California in 2019, has been found. Its owners, Terrie and David Drewry, feared the worst after weeks of searching near Cache Creek in Auburn. Their hopes were reignited unexpectedly recently when they stumbled upon a viral video on social media. The footage, captured by hunter Max Fennell during a hunting trip in March, showed a donkey peacefully chilling with a herd of wild elk.

Calling it one of his “wildest hunting trips to date,” Max Fennel wrote, “I bumped into a herd of elk that have adopted a donkey. I can’t get over seeing it and I’m amazed that the donkey looks happy and healthy!”

The video shows the donkey grazing and moving alongside more than 10 elks. Terrie and David recognised distinct markings and behaviour and they were certain that the donkey was, in fact, their long-lost pet, Diesel.

David Drewry commented under the video, “That is in fact, Diesel. He got away from me while packing out there 5 years ago. It was heartbreaking at the time. Glad to see he is helping the herd grow.”

Terrie told CBS Sacramento that “it was amazing” seeing Diesel again. “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 said.

The Drewry family adopted Diesel from the Bureau of Land Management. He lived on their ranch in Auburn, California, along with their llama, a miniature donkey named Jack, and some chickens. In April 2019, while out on a trail ride in the Cache Creek Wilderness with David and the llama, Diesel got scared and ran off, pulling David through bushes. Despite big search efforts using drones and people on horseback, Diesel was not found until 5 years later on March 31, when Max Fennell’s video showed him just a few miles from where he vanished.

Terrie now believes Diesel has formed a bond with the elk family and possibly protects them from predators.

Terrie explained to CBS that Diesel probably has defended the herd by taking down coyotes and potentially even a mountain lion. Despite being different species, Diesel and the elk have formed a close bond, functioning almost like a family. She also mentioned that bringing Diesel back now would be extremely difficult because he has fully adapted to living as a “wild burro.”