August 5, 2019, Mariposa County, California (USA): An injured wild donkey has been stranded on a small island on Lake McClure for nearly three years. A concerned group of volunteers recently organized her rescue when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife stepped in and shut it down to allow it time to interpret the law.
The California Fish and Game Code states that it is illegal to capture a wild donkey unless the landowner makes the request. The one acre island is owned by two organizations, the Merced Irrigation District and the Bureau of Land Management. Both agencies gave the group of volunteer rescuers permission to aid and remove the wild donkey. But another legal roadblock, only an officer or employer of a local animal control agency can remove the donkey. To date, none of those agencies have determined who should take responsibility for the animal.
“How do you bury your head in the sand with an animal that’s hurt with a broken leg like she is and not help it?” asked horse rescuer Bobbie Carne.
Lake residents have been feeding the donkey several times a week but are in the process of selling their boat and worry that no one will step up to continue feeding her. And the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a statement that it is planning to send someone this week to assess the donkey’s condition and develop a plan. Meanwhile the donkey remains on the island.