Despite the cuteness of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Eeyore and the all-talk-but-no-action Doneky in Shrek, anyone who’s ever been around real donkeys, whether domestic kind or the wild ass kind that gave destructive human behavior its appropriate name, knows it’s unsafe to mess with them. What is jokingly referred to as “stubbornness” in cartoons and fiction is actually the species’ strong sense of self-preservation resisting anything that looks like it could cause it harm. That resistance is showed in biting, kicking, fighting, struggling and anything else a donkey can do to get away. This is why the latest news of animal killings out of Kentucky is so distressing and puzzling. Just a few miles from where six llamas were found mysteriously killed last week, two donkeys were found dead under similar fiendish circumstances. Aliens unclear on the concept? Big cats? Wolves? Chupacabra? Something worse?
"Something grabbed them on the nose and then in the back. It took several animals to take them down. He wasn't taken down by one animal. There was more than one."
Nann Williamson, the distressed owner of the dead donkeys, described to local media what she found when she went to look for them on her property in Buechel, a former small town that is now a large neighborhood in Louisville. Unfortunately, this was on a Sunday morning and the animals hadn’t been seen since the previous Friday, when it appears they were attacked. The advanced state of decomposition allowed investigators to determine where they were bitten but not much else, including the cause of death.
These killings sound eerily similar to the nearby (5 miles away) attacks last week at the Louisville Llama Farm near the Louisville Zoo, where five llamas were found dead with bite marks behind their ears and by their flanks and a severely-wounded sixth had to be put down. There is still no official cause for those mysterious deaths. Nor have there been any official explanations for the deaths of three horses and some big dogs in September 2018 in Monroe County on the state’s southern border. In those, the horses had neck wounds that looked more like surgical cuts than bite marks and there were no signs of a struggle. In all of the cases, it appears the animals were killed but not eaten and there were few, if any signs of entry or tracks.
With nothing else to go on, the local authorities are pushing “canine attack” as the probable cause of the recent killings and are asking residents to report any coyote signs while bringing in any kinds of bait, including livestock, pets and children. Caroline Willette, an owner of the Louisville Llama Farm, thinks blaming canines is barking up the wrong tree. That’s not what killed her 500-pound livestock:
"I see coyotes around here all the time. Llamas are guard animals, (they'll) mess you up."
Did whatever killed the horses in late 2018 bite off more than it could chew in 2019 by attacking the much stronger and self-preservationist Kentucky llamas and donkeys? One interesting point … none of the places where the killings occurred appeared to have surveillance cameras. Did the killer know this? Will it go back to the more docile horses? Could this be the return of the infamous Kentucky Devil Monkeys? Or has a new cryptid moved in?
The watch in Kentucky continues.