Black Bear Kills Pet Donkey in Upstate New York

by Craig Garrett
Close-up image of a beautiful little Donkey foal in the New Forest National Park, Hampshire, England, UK - stock photo

In upstate New York, a woman’s miniature pet donkey was killed this week when it was attacked by a black bear. In the past few decades, bears have been able to move out of their core populations and into new areas because there has been more forest cover. Laura-Ann Camissa learned the wild animals were close by her property the hard way.

“It was a brutal horrible death,” Camissa told Albany’s News 10. Camissa’s pet donkey, Lucy, is the latest casualty in a string of bear attacks across New York State. Camissa takes unwanted donkeys to her home in Claverack, New York.

“Lucy was very petite and very endearing. She just drew everybody in, and she was like, she looked like a baby donkey because she was so small,” recalled Camissa. 9-year-old Kira Friedman had a close bond with the donkey.“Lucy was one of the specialist donkeys I’ve ever met in my life,” said Kira.

Lucy the donkey’s final moments before the bear attack

Camissa recalls that it was close to 11:30 PM when she last kissed her adored pets goodnight. Lucy and Ricky, along with two other donkeys, were all unharmed in their pen when she left for the night. “She has the loudest bray of any of the donkeys. She was the smallest with the biggest mouth. And she was awesome. She was really a love. We will really miss her, and Ricky will really miss her a lot,” recalled Camissa.

“About two hours after we buried her the bear came back into the paddock. I caught him out of the corner of my eye,” Camissa said. “He was walking through and my husband came out and chased him away.”

It was the first black bear the donkey’s owners had seen in 30 years

Lucy was buried on the property close to her pen. Camissa said that this is the only time in over 30 years she has seen a bear, and she did everything possible to stop more bears from coming around. “We were taking in bird feeders at night because we know that attracted bears. But I did not know that the seeds on the ground also attract bears we don’t have garbage pails or anything around so that has not been an issue for us. But we’re not feeding the birds anymore other than in the winter months since we’ve been advised,” explained Camissa.

Camissa is now creating plans to protect her pets. “We are putting an electric fence on top of the current fence that we have that has served as well for 31 years but apparently not this year and we’re getting all kinds of camera security systems that ring to your phone,” explained Camissa.

Lucy was treasured by those who knew her and will never be forgotten.“Lucy is awesome. I will never forget her. She and all the other ones, they’ll all miss her also. As much as I will,” said Friedman.