Firefighters rescue lost donkeys after California wildfire and their reaction will melt your heart
Unfortunately, when natural disasters occur, the emergency services' first priority is saving human lives. As a result, many animals are left to perish, and it is only through sheer luck that any of them are able to survive. But just like us humans, they too are terrified by events like wildfires, and when help finally comes, they are just as grateful.
Case in point, these donkeys who were discovered by firefighters fleeing the two wildfires currently ravaging the state of California. Just like the people affected by the blaze, their home had also been destroyed, and the Sacramento Fire Department took to Facebook to share a strange situation they faced when they were deployed to contain the blaze.
At this point, it is worth noting that the death toll from the wildfires currently stands at 80 people (63 of whom have been identified) and around 1,000 are missing - although these numbers are constantly fluctuating. The two blazes both began last week, one of which the result of an unattended campfire, and have covered an area of nearly 400 square miles.
This is the dramatic moment one family filmed themselves fleeing the wildfires:
The firefighters first port of call was investigating an incident caused by a fallen tree, but on their way there, they saw two figures walking towards them. As they drove closer, they realized that it was two donkeys, lost and confused.
At first, the firefighters weren't sure if the animals actually needed help but stopped to make sure that they were okay, regardless, and that's when they realized just how exhausted the donkeys were, having clearly fled for their lives.
"We pulled over to let them pass, and saw that they looked very tired, worn out and thirsty," firefighter Chris Harvey said to The Dodo. "I tried to give them some water in my hand from a water bottle, but it kept spilling out."
After some perseverance, the firefighters were able to hydrate the donkeys and feed them too, having luckily had some apples on their person.
"They ate the apples quickly and seemed grateful for the snack," Harvey said. "We called base camp and had them dispatch animal control officers to get the donkeys."
Not wanting the donkeys to wander off and end up even more lost and confused, the firefighters stayed with them until their rescuers arrived. They are now in a safe place getting the care and attention they need after their ordeal.
But this is just one example of the frantic work which animal rescue organizations are having to do to help animals affected by the wildfires. Their first priority is getting the animals to safety then, if possible, reuniting them with their owners.
There are a number of organizations currently involved in the rescue of animals in California including the Humane Society, California Community Foundation, and the North Valley Animal Disaster Group. If you'd like to help other animals like these donkeys get the happy ending they deserve, please consider donating.