An aggressive 40-year-old donkey loose on Highway 101 in Hopland was shot and killed by Mendocino County Animal Control officers Wednesday at the request of the animal’s owner.

The 500-pound donkey was reported running on the highway around 3:30 p.m. prompting a response from the CHP, Caltrans, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and animal control, authorities said.

The donkey posed a threat to drivers coming around a blind corner on Highway 101, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. A driver was injured after striking a horse March 26 near the location of the loose donkey.

Officers chased the donkey off the highway and up a small hill, but the animal attempted to get back on the roadway, the Sheriff’s Office said. The donkey was known to be very aggressive and had injured and killed other animals on the farm it lived on about a mile away.

Animal control officers did not have the drugs needed to tranquilize a large animal, the Sheriff’s Office said. Its owner, who had fallen and suffered minor injuries while trying to keep the donkey off the highway, asked animal control officers to put down the animal.

Officers shot and wounded the animal, which moved up the hill away from the highway, the Sheriff’s Office said. The donkey was removed by the owner on a small flatbed trailer after it was finally put down.

You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or On Twitter @nrahaim.