3 min read

Donkey Escapes From Burning Forest, Refuses To Leave Firefighters' Side

Firefighters battling a wildfire in Arizona received a much-needed glimmer of hope this week after encountering a furry survivor who managed to escape the flames.

Crews from the Desert Hills Fire Department (DHFD) were fighting a section of the 7,000-acre fire near Lake Havasu City when, much to their surprise, a lone donkey - frightened but alive - emerged from the burning forest. Amazingly, he seemed to understand the firefighters could help, which they did by cooling his singed body with water from their hose.

"We have many wild donkeys living in the area, so we're very used to them here. They're normally quite skittish, but this one was not," DHFD administrator Jeanne Kentch told The Dodo. "This one followed the firefighters. It's like he knew, 'If I stick with you, I'll be safe.' He kept following them around."

It's unclear whether the donkey is feral, or if he escaped from a farm behind the fire line. But his friendly presence there amid so much devastation quickly found the animal a place in the hearts of rescue crews.

"Our firefighters have seen a lot of animals that were killed in the fire, so the situation has been hard on these guys," Kentch said. "The donkey has really boosted their spirits. He really made their day."

The donkey has since been evacuated to safety. If no owner comes forward to claim the animal, the American Wild Horse Sanctuary in California has volunteered to give her a home, founder Neda DeMayo confirmed to The Dodo.