Merced community works to rescue donkey stranded on island

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OUT TO LAKE MCCLURE TO CATCH A GLIMPS OF THE BURRO AND HIS ANXIOUS HERD. LINDA: THEY’RE CAPTURING THE ATTENTION OF BOATERS AT LAKE MCCLURE.>>THEY’RE SCATTERED AROUN LINDA: NOT ONLY ALONG THE PERIMETER OF THE RESERVOIR.>>ONE OF THEM HAD A BABY, SO THERE WERE SEVEN PLUS A BABY LINDA: WE’RE TALKING ABOUT WILD DONKEYS OR BURROS ON THE HILLSIDES.>>HE SHOULD BE RIGHT AROUND THIS LITTLE VALLEY, RIGHT IN THE LINDA: THIS ONE IN PARTICULAR, NOW TRAPPED ON ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAKE.>>IT WOULD BE A HECK OF A SWIM FOR THAT DONKEY. LINDA: THAT’S BECAUSE THE DONKEY APPEARS TO BE INJURED >>IT HAS A RIGHT FRONT LEG THAT IS EITHER DEFORMED, OR IT BROKE IT WHEN IT WAS YOUNG AND JUST LIVES WITH IT. LINDA: RETIRED MERCED POLICE DETECTIVE HARRY MARKARIAN SAYS HE FIRST DISCOVERED THE DONKEY STRANDED ON THE ISLAND ABOUT THREE MONTHS AGO.>>THE ONLY REASON IT’S STUCK ON THAT ISLAND IS BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN THROUGH THAT DROUGHT FOR SO LONG AND IT WASN’T AN ISLAND. WITH THE WATER LEVELS COMING UP, ALL THE OTHER DONKEYS GOT OFF THE ISLAND OR WHATEVER, BUT THIS ONE DIDN’T. LINDA: THE REST OF HERD NOW SEPARATED BY ABOUT 200 FEET OF WATER ARE OFTEN HEARD CALLING OUT TO IT.>>IT’S VERY INTERESTING TO LISTEN TO THEM. WE’VE HAD THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING PARKED ON SHORE AND HAD ONE OF THEM WALKING BY AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING AND THE HOR SOUND THEY MAKE, IT WAS JUST, I MEAN, WE BOTH JUMPED OUT OF BED, I MEAN IT’S JUST UNREAL. LINDA: THE MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT TELLS US THEY ARE AWARE OF THE BURRO AND THEY’RE CLOSELY MONITORING THE SITUATION. THE GOOD NEWS IS IT APPEARS TO HAVE PLENTY OF GRASS AND SHADE FOR THE TIME BEING.>>BUT MY CONCERN IS IT’S GOT PLENTY OF FOOD NOW, IT’S A BIG ISLAND, BUT ONCE THE SUMMER HITS HERE ALL THAT GRASS WILL BE DEAD AND THEN THE DONKEY WON’T GET HIS FEED. LINDA: WHICH IS WHY BOATERS ARE NOW BANDING TOGETHER TO FIND A WAY TO SAVE IT.>>IF IT CAN’T SWIM IT’S STUCK THERE, SO LET’S HOPE THE RANGERS CAN GET TO IT.

 

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