Wild Burros Vanishing From SoCal Hills

The mysterious disappearance of wild burros that roam the hills above Moreno Valley has rescuers wondering whether predators or thieves are targeting the small donkeys.

An animal group named DonkeyLand has been tracking the herds and noticed that some foals as young as 3 weeks old have inexplicably gone missing in recent months.

Rescuers with the Riverside-based nonprofit on Wednesday said predators, such as mountain lions, could be dragging them away. But they also believe thieves could be abducting them for breeding or killing them for food.

A flier announces the disappearance of a young wild burro.

"We have seen animals' bones up there, where we've heard they were gutted and used for meat, which is totally against the law," said Wendy Petrunio of DonkeyLand.

Rescuers say the wild burros are federally protected and it is illegal to take them.

In September, rescuers said a newborn "miracle baby" burro was taken from its crying mother, which had previously lost three of her newborns to fatal accidents.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Moreno Valley Police Department at 951-486-6700.

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