Nine out of 11 donkeys stolen from a Buckinghamshire farm in September have been returned to their owner after a World Horse Welfare (WHW) field officer tracked them down.
The animals were stolen from a farm in Chalfont St Giles on September 18, leaving their elderly owner distraught. Nick White, WHW field officer for London and the Home Counties (pictured right), discovered one donkey on September 23 when carrying out a routine checks on horses in Buckinghamshire.
After noticing a group of three donkeys, Mr White became suspicious that one was from the Chalfont St Giles farm.
Having called for backup, Mr White was able to read the animal’s microchip and confirm that it was the donkey from the farm. The stallion, named Darrell, was returned to the owner that same day.
Commenting on the discovery, Mr White said: “It was wonderful to find Darrell safe and well, but it only fuelled [my desire] to find the remaining donkeys.”
Eight other donkeys were recovered on September 29, when Mr White went to a site in Herefordshire after a farmer reported damage to a gate. Mr White attended the farm with officers from Thames Valley and Hertfordshire Police. Eight of the animals found in the field were identified by their microchips and passports as the stolen donkeys.
Mr White said: “We were able to return all eight donkeys to their very grateful owner the next day and, prior to leaving, we helped make the premises more secure to prevent further thefts. All we need to do now is find the remaining two donkeys and I will be happy.”