United States

Donkey With Elk Herd! Owners OF Beloved Pet Lost 5 Years Ago Discover Him 'Living His Best Life' | Video

In a heartwarming twist of fate, a beloved donkey named Diesel, missing for five years, has been found living among a herd of wild elk in California, delighting his owners with a tale of unexpected survival and adaptation in the wilderness.

@maxfennell/ Instagram
Diesel the Donkey with an Elk Herd Photo: @maxfennell/ Instagram

In a heartwarming turn reminiscent of a storybook, a donkey missing for five years in California was discovered living among a herd of wild elk. Triathlete and hunter Max Fennell captured the remarkable scene on camera during a hunting trip, and the footage quickly gained online attention with over 143k likes.

The donkey, found standing curiously among approximately a dozen elk, is believed to be Diesel, the cherished pet once cared for by Terrie Drewry and her husband, Dave. Originally a wild donkey, Diesel had been adopted through a Bureau of Land Management program that allows public adoption of wild animals captured during federal roundups.

The beloved pet donkey disappeared in 2019 during a hiking excursion along the Cache Creek Wilderness with Dave. Despite an extensive search effort by a dedicated team, Diesel was never located.

“We think a mountain lion might have spooked him,” Terrie shared with CBS Sacramento. “He just got away.”

Living on a ranch near Auburn and caring for various animals, the couple tirelessly scoured the area for weeks, combing through terrain on foot and horseback. They even employed drone technology to scan for any traces of their missing four-legged family member.

“We finally kind of gave up,” Terrie shared with the outlet. “Just no signs of him.”

Five years after his disappearance, the couple now believes Diesel was adopted by a herd of elk and is happily roaming the pastures of Cache Creek Wilderness with them.

The missing donkey would be approximately eight years old now, according to his former owners.

“I bumped into a herd of elk that have adopted a donkey,” Max wrote on Instagram, sharing the video of the unique blended sight.

“I can’t get over seeing it and I’m amazed that the donkey looks happy and healthy!” he added.

Terrie expressed certainty that the donkey Max captured on video 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,” she shared with the outlet.

The Drewrys were grateful to see their former pet thriving among a different species.

“Two completely different creatures, but they learn to get along and be each other’s family,” she remarked, noting that he has “killed coyotes protecting the herd and possibly a mountain lion.”

Terrie shared that since Diesel went missing about five years ago, she and her husband have welcomed new donkeys to their home.

Now that Diesel is "truly a wild burro," they have decided not to attempt to bring him back home because capturing him "would be next to impossible."

“He’s out there doing what he’s raised to do," Terrie added.