Three donkeys have been killed in what is thought to be the worst road traffic accident involving animals in the New Forest for 20 years.

The crash happened between 5.00-5.30am on Monday 3 November at Roger Penny Way in Brook.

One animal was killed on impact, the other two were put down after sustaining serious injuries. One had broken a hind leg, the other had a fractured shoulder.

The donkeys were all owned by the same person.

Sue Westwood, clerk to the Verderers, the organisation that regulates the rights of the Forest, told H&H: “This is the first time I have ever heard of three animals, especially as big as these were, being killed in one accident — and I have been in this job for more than 20 years.”

One of the drivers involved reported the incident to the New Forest Agister Andrew Napitine.

“I think they were hit about 5.30ish and I was there just before 6am,” he said.

“Unfortunately animals are often hit by drivers in the Forest, but it’s unusual for three to be in an accident all at once. I think people need to be a bit more aware that they will congregate on the edge of the road.

“Although the limit is 40 miles an hour and they may be sticking to it, they expect the animals to move and they don’t. I just don’t think there is the same awareness of how animals behave around vehicles as there used to be.”

Hampshire police are trying to trace another driver thought to have been involved in the accident. Officers said the person who reported the collision indicated a white van with its offside headlight askew was in the area at the time. The van was heading towards Fordingbridge.

The Verderers are also offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the successful conviction of any hit-and-run drivers involved in animal accidents such as this.

Anyone with information should call PC Gary Kimble at Hythe police station on 101.

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