Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sergeant Roger Hansen and a team of dedicated responders saved the life of a day-old burro who was orphaned on State Route 74 near Lake Pleasant.
The young foal’s mother tragically lost her life in a car accident, leaving her vulnerable offspring behind.
According to authorities, Arizona DPS troopers and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) personnel responded to the scene of the car accident on September 5.
Recognizing the dire situation faced by the tiny burro and knowing that it could not survive on its own in the wild, Hansen took the initiative to give the animal a second chance.
Hansen first reached out to Stacie Thomas, the president and founder of One Step Wild Burros and Mustang Rescue, located in New River.
Thomas, known for her commitment to animal welfare, agreed to take in the foal as long as Hansen could transport it to the rescue facility.
With the foal’s future hanging in the balance, Hansen carefully loaded the animal into the back of his patrol vehicle and embarked on a journey to ensure its safety and well-being.
Upon arrival at One Step Wild Burros and Mustang Rescue, the wild donkey was fortunately able to be matched with a nursing mother burro, and shortly after, the young orphan began to bond with his adoptive mother.
The burro quickly settled into his new life, exhibiting all the joyful behaviors of a typical young burro, including running and playing.
In tribute to the trooper who went above and beyond to save the little burro’s life, Thomas’ grandson even decided to name the young burro “Roger,” forever linking him with his rescuer, Sergeant Hansen.
News later emerged that one of the DPS troopers involved in the rescue operation wished to adopt Roger once he reaches an appropriate age.
In a press release, the Arizona DPS thanked Thomas and One Step Wild Burros and Mustang Rescue for their assistance in caring for Roger and their ongoing commitment to animal welfare.
“Also, thank you to Stacie Thomas and One Step Wild Burros and Mustang Rescue for their assistance and ongoing efforts to care for little Roger,” the department wrote.
According to the Arizona Bureau of Land Management, wild burros can be found across the American southwest, and are commonly found in eight areas in western Arizona.