- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2015

OGDEN, Ark. (AP) - Authorities in southwest Arkansas braved floodwaters, snakes and even an alligator to rescue seven donkeys trapped by the swollen Red River.

The Texarkana Gazette (http://bit.ly/1JAHk0Q ) reports the donkeys, one of which is pregnant, were recovering Saturday after a four-hour rescue effort.

Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory said deputies found the animals in about 4 feet of water on Friday evening after record rainfall across the southern Plains flooded the river. They were heard braying Thursday night and found not far from where first responders set up to respond to flooding.

“We found them under a large tree down the hill from the command center,” Gregory said.

Rescuers had to bypass snakes and the 8-foot alligator to get the donkeys. They also used rescue boats and a 50-yard rope to herd the animals to safety. During the roundup, workers spent a couple of hours dragging the donkeys across the water to land. The donkeys were too weak to walk by the end of it, Gregory said.

“It was our Australian adventure, contending with the snakes and an alligator,” Gregory said.

The pregnant mare was critically injured but is recovering along with the others, Gregory said, adding that medication was donated to help the animal following her rescue.

Authorities are working to find homes for the donkeys.

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Information from: Texarkana Gazette, http://www.texarkanagazette.com

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