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

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

It’s always amazing to see the bonds that can form between animals of different species. Sometimes animals are adopted and accepted by a different species as if they are their own kind.

That was the remarkable case recently, when a donkey long thought to be dead was found with a very surprising new family…

Triathlete and outdoorsman Max Fennell was out on a hunting trip in March, and noticed something unexpected among a herd of elk: a donkey!


Fennell couldn’t believe what he was seeing, calling it “one of my wildest hunting trips to date.” The donkey moves and reacts with the herd as if he is just one of the elk, completely accepted as one of them. It was 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 wrote on Instagram.

As if that unusual sight wasn’t enough, Fennell soon learned the donkey’s unbelievable story.

One commenter informed him that the donkey was “actually a legend” who had been “running with the elk for years now.”

Then, the donkey’s former owner commented and revealed that he ended up with the elk after going missing five years ago.

“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 CBS Sacramento that the donkey, named Diesel, went missing in 2019 while on a hiking trip.

They believe a mountain lion likely scared him off, and after years passed with no sign of the donkey they believed he was gone for good.

But they were surprised to learn that Diesel wasn’t dead, he had just found a new family — and a new life as a wild elk. The former owners were happy to see their old friend alive and thriving.

“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,” Terrie told CBS Sacramento.

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

Not only did the elk seemingly accept him as one of their own, but Diesel has apparently been protecting the herd from predators like coyotes and mountain lions.

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

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.


What a story! We’re glad to see this lost donkey has found his place among the elk. Please share this unbelievable story if you love animals!

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