Alleged gang members in the north of Colombia use donkeys for weapons practice, local media reported Tuesday.
Roberto Ruiz, the director of the Environmental Guard of Cartagena, claimed last week that “in less than four days we have received at least five of these animals with serious injuries, especially with deep cuts and wounds.”
The official also stated that every month up to four complaints of different types of donkey and mule attacks are reported to the Enviornmental Guard, according to newspaper El Tiempo.
Most of the injured donkeys are allegedly used as target practice for young gang members practicing knife and machete techniques. Other cases of donkey abuse have included burns from either hot water or tar used on the animals.
Many of the donkeys have received medical care and authorities, along with the Environmental Guard, are trying to find treatment and shelter for the abused animals. Most of the tortured beasts of burden are expected to be adopted by farmers around Cartagena.
Ruiz has asked that any citizens who see attacks happening to call a designated hotline and report the incident to authorities. The environmental organization also wants to initiate education and awareness programs to prevent such flagrant animal abuse in Cartagena.