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Pet donkey that went missing 5 years ago is now part of elk community living 'his best life'

After searching for the donkey in the woods for weeks back in 2019, they finally gave up. Five years later, social media found him.

Pet donkey that went missing 5 years ago is now part of elk community living 'his best life'
Cover Image Source: (L) Facebook | Terrie Drewry, (R) X | @maxfennell

For many families, their pets are a part of their kin. It breaks their hearts when their pets run off from home and get lost. However, one pet donkey has been making the headlines when it was found running with an unusual herd of wild animals after disappearing from its owner's ranch five years ago. In April 2019, Dave and Terrie Drewry lost their pet donkey, Diesel, in the woods closer to their ranch, per CBS News Sacramento. Nearly five years later, the burro has been discovered with an elk community, thanks to social media.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Leon Woods
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Leon Woods

Diesel went trail packing with Dave with the Drewry family's black llama. "Diesel got spooked by something and literally drug Dave through the bushes. All of that gear can get tangled up and if he gets tangled up and he's just a sitting duck for predators and he can't get to water or food," Terrie told the news channel. It turns out that Diesel was a wild burro of the Bureau of Land Management and was adopted by the Drewry's. "He's not aggressive, he's a lover, but right now, he's scared," Terrie worried.


The family was desperately reaching out for help as Diesel was lost near the Judge Davis Trail by Wilson Valley - a part of the 30,000-acre Cache Creek Wilderness. The family believed that a mountain lion might've spooked Diesel or he got away somewhere far. To look for the burro, the family organized searches by hike, horseback and even drones, but their efforts were in vain. After a month of Diesel's disappearance, a trail camera caught the pet strolling in the wilderness and despite some footprints, the family couldn't track him, as reported this June by CBS News Sacramento. They eventually gave up having no hope of finding the burro in such a vast area. 


Little did the Drewrys know that they would get a glimpse of Diesel through social media. This March, Max Fennell (@maxfennell), an entrepreneur and a triathlete, who was on a turkey hunt in the woods, bumped into Diesel running with a herd of elks. Dave came across Fennell's X post and Terrie was sure that the donkey was Diesel. "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 the news channel. The video shows Diesel getting along so well with the elks that one couldn't differentiate between the two animals. Terrie even found indications that Diesel had been guarding the elk herd and killing coyotes and mountain lions. 


The Drewrys have no intention of bringing Diesel back home now. "To catch him would be next to impossible. He is truly a wild burro now," Terrie said. "He's out there doing what he's raised to do," she added. Fennell's post went viral on X with over 15 million views when Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) shared it. People on the platform cheered on for Diesel. "Find your tribe even if it means getting out of what other people think is your lane," said @JB_Goldstein. "Diesel stands out but also blends right in. Definitely seems like a good fit," added @NoVaxAllFacts. "Talk about a fierce protector of the herd. No coyotes will mess with that group," quipped @KevinOverbay.


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