Video by Lynn Beittel, Visionary Video |
KONA, Hawaii: In what has been dubbed The Flight of the Nightingales by the organizers, 120 of the feral Waikoloa donkeys that were herded up and prepped for adoption in the summer are now being deported – via airplane – to California.
Once the animals land in Los Angeles, they will be transported to Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue in Tehachapi, CA., where they will be available for future adoption. Several of the donkeys will move on to Eagle Eye Sanctuary in Sonoma, and The Humane Society of the United States’ Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas.
The Humane Society of the United States – one of the main forces behind the rescue efforts – says the donkeys are headed to new homes in California as part of the Waikoloa Donkey Rescue and Rehoming Project, which was initiated in 2010 and has already adopted out more than 200 of the donkeys across Hawaii. In late August, the donkeys bound for California were examined by veterinarians and prepared for their flight.
Big Island Video News covered the clinic in late August.
The donkeys, also known as the Kona Nightingales, have been encroaching on the nearby Waikoloa Village over the years, causing accidents on Waikoloa Road and other community concerns. The situation reached a boiling point last year, when the extreme drought drove the donkeys into the village outskirts in search of resources. The community has been wrestling with the problem of how to manage the herd, and there was even talk of having to thin the numbers by shooting the animals. So when the United States Humane Society joined forces with Dr. Brady Bergin, a Waimea veterinarian, animal lovers were relieved and the iconic donkeys were given new hope.