Drought causes wild donkeys to roam Riverside neighborhoods

Leticia Juarez Image
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Drought causes wild donkeys to roam Riverside neighborhoods
The drought and construction has caused wild donkeys to leave their natural habitats and look for food sources in nearby neighborhoods in Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The recent drought and construction in Riverside has forced hundreds of wild donkeys into nearby neighborhoods.

While the animals are a welcome sight for some residents, others believe the donkeys are a nuisance.

"People are not really a fan of them because they'll eat their plants and they'll eat their trees because that's what they are looking for because their own sources are being cut down," said Riverside resident Irmina Fredrickson.

These donkeys are on private property and residents cannot relocate, feed or kill them, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"If people do feed [the donkeys], we try to convince people to go out into the fields away from the road and feed them," said Grand Terrace resident Shelley Reese.

But that feeding is a huge problem. In fact, Riverside County Animal Control said the number of wild donkeys killed in traffic accidents is rising.

Residents said they want commuters to slow down on Reche Canyon Road to reduce the amount of accidents from happening.

Resident Dan Koko said neighbors have witnesses too many donkeys being hit by speeding cars.

The Riverside organization DonkeyLand Rescue is trying to raise awareness about the problem. The group recently lobbied for more donkey crossing signs and reduced speed limits on the road.