Last month, we reported on the troubling story of a baby donkey who was stolen from a farm, and the urgent search to find him and reunite her with her devastated mother.
But now, there is a very happy update to the story: little Moon has been found safe and sound.
On May 15, Moon, a two-month-old donkey foal, was stolen from the Miller’s Ark farm in Hampshire, England. Because the donkey was so young, she wouldn’t survive long without her mother Astra.
The staff wrote on Facebook that they were “completely devastated and incredibly concerned,” and that Astra was “very distressed” and “braying loudly” without her baby.
“Astra has been just completely devastated, just really stressed, pacing up and down the fence line, braying,” owner Elizabeth Miller told ITV. “She doesn’t know what to do with herself because all of her natural instincts are to find the foal.”
A £10,000 reward was offered for Moon’s return and supporters also raised £2,000 for the owners to install security cameras.
Weeks later, the farm shared some incredible news: Moon was found safe and sound! According to Miller’s Ark Facebook post, the owners travelled to Buckinghamshire and met with Thames Valley Police to recover the donkey.
Thankfully Moon is safe, and is now reuniting with his mom Astra.
“We are beyond thrilled and Mum and foal are finally back together,” Miller’s Ark wrote. “Moon appears to be in good health, thank heaven, and we will make sure that Moon and her mum Astra get lots of love and care as they re discover each other.”
The owners thanked everyone who helped spread the word by sharing the story, and thanked the Thames Valley, Surrey and Hampshire Police departments for their work in the search.
According to the BBC, Hampshire police deployed officers to High Wycombe after receiving a tip about Moon’s whereabouts.
“We have worked tirelessly to locate Moon, scouring CCTV footage to see if we could find her, so we are absolutely delighted about this positive outcome,” Hampshire police sergeant Stuart Ross said in a statement, per The Guardian.
Ross also thanked “everyone who shared these appeals and got in touch with us,” saying they received numerous calls from the public about potential sightings of Moon.
The exact circumstances of the theft are still not clear, and it wasn’t reported if anyone received the reward for information. Farm staff said they believed someone stole Moon right from the field, taking advantage of donkeys’ gentle and trusting nature.
“Hampshire and Isle of Wight constabulary’s Countrywatch team will continue with an investigation into the circumstances of the theft of this donkey,” Ross said.
In the meantime, everyone is thrilled that Moon has been found and reunited with her mom. Pamela Jessopp, an employee at Miller’s Ark Animals, said they were “beyond excited” and “ecstatic.”
“You always hold out hope, but as the timeframe and the time window got larger, you do wonder if she would be found or not,” Jessopp told BBC Radio. “It is so much down to members of the public, our supporters that have got the word out there and spread it on social media. It’s been a heartfelt story that has caught people’s emotions.”
What a miracle — we’re so glad that Moon was found safe and is finally home with his loving mom!
Please share this incredible update to this story! ❤️