A weeks-old donkey foal stolen over a fortnight ago has been reunited with her owner – and her mother – after “fantastic” police work and public response.
Moon, who was 12 weeks old at the time, was taken from Miller’s Ark Animals, Hampshire, on 15 May. “Countless” members of the public contacted police as they investigated – and the foal was recovered from Buckinghamshire last night (31 May).
“We are beyond excited, ecstatic,” said Pamela Jessopp of Miller’s Ark. “You always hold out hope but as the time frame and the time window got larger you do wonder if she would be found or not.
“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.
“We are very grateful to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, Surrey Police and Thames Valley Police for their support and investigation and for the speedy action last night.”
A spokesman for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary said the farm, which had been sent information about Moon, contacted the force last night.
“We immediately deployed officers to an address in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire,” the spokesman said.
“At around 8.15pm the stolen donkey was located, recovered and returned, to the delight of the owners.”
Police Sergeant Stuart Ross, of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s Countrywatch team, added: “This was a fantastic piece of joint working from Countrywatch and Thames Valley Police’s Rural Task Force team.
“Our appeals to find Moon attracted countless calls and online reports from members of the public with possible sightings and potential lines of enquiry and we want to thank everyone who shared these appeals and got in touch with us.
“We are absolutely delighted about this positive outcome.”
A Miller’s Ark spokesman added that the team liaised with Thames Valley Police and recovered Moon.
“We are beyond thrilled and mum and foal are finally back together,” she said. “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 rediscover each other.
“It is because of all of you, amazing people, who have supported Moon, Astra and the team at Miller’s Ark, sharing this story far and wide – and now you have brought her home. A huge thank you to all streams of the media who spread the story further, Thames Valley Police for their quick response and Surrey and Hampshire Police for their work behind the scenes.”
The Countrywatch team will continue its investigation into the theft of Moon. Anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference 44230191581.
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