JOHNSTON, R.I. (WJAR) — A search is underway for a donkey on the loose in Johnston and Scituate. It's the latest case of livestock on the lam in that area.
"I was going to work and there was a donkey running up the road right in the middle of Route 6,” said Ed Plasse, who told NBC 10 he spotted the animal around 6 a.m. on Monday.
Plasse captured the surprising sight on cell his phone.
"He cut right in front of me, I almost hit him,” he said. "I turned my truck around and I got him out of the middle of the road, and coaxed him off to the side and kept going the same speed as him and he was just running along the breakdown lane.”
NBC 10 first received viewer reports a donkey was loose in Johnston on Sunday night.
By Monday afternoon, after seeing video of the donkey on NBC 10, Johnston Police Chief Joseph Razza said he found out the animal had run away from its new home.
"I learned that the donkey basically escaped from a small residential farm on the Johnston/Scituate line,” Razza told NBC 10. “The animal was being offloaded and basically got away from its handler."
According to Razza, residents that called police dispatch reported spotting the donkey on Hartford Ave. around 7 p.m. Sunday night.
Another sighting was reported an hour and a half later near the Scituate line on Pine Hill Road. By the time responding officers arrived, the donkey was nowhere in sight, Razza said.
The most recent sighting of the animal was around 8:00 a.m. Monday on Trimtown Road in Scituate, according to Razza.
"I'm being told it's a cream-colored donkey, medium-sized,” the Chief said. “I'm also being told that it's a female donkey, commonly referred to as a ‘jenny’ or ‘jennet’.”
Now, locals are staying alert while out on the roads.
"You don't want him to get hurt,” Plasse said.
Razza is encouraging residents not to approach the donkey if they see it.
"It's described as a domesticated animal but not very tamed,” he said. "So I would just keep your distance. Call the police. Call the Johnston Police or the Scituate Police if it's somewhere in that area and we'll take care of it in a professional manner."
It's not the first time Johnston has dealt with livestock on the loose.
Three years ago, three wild turkeys disrupted traffic and intimidated drivers in the center of town.
"What's going on in Johnston?" asked NBC 10’s Tyler Dumont.
"It's starting to be a sanctuary I guess for livestock,” replied Razza.