A Texas mayor was killed by his 500-pound pet donkey after being kicked and trampled by the animal while he was taking care of his herd.
Hollywood Park Mayor Bill Bohlke, 65, was found dead on his farm on Monday evening, at least 10 hours after his donkey attacked him. The mayor has several donkeys, but the attacker is thought to have been an aggressive male that he kept on the ranch.
“They can become very aggressive, very mean, sometimes triggered by a female in heat,” said Atoscosa County Chief Deputy David Soward. “We’ll probably never know what triggered it, but it was evident that this particular donkey was involved, based on the evidence at the scene and what we saw on this donkey.”
Bohlke’s wife initially expressed concern about her husband’s disappearance when he didn’t return to Hollywood Park after checking up on his beloved animals.
“He loved his animals. He loved ranching,” neighbor Sandra Wilson told WOAI News 4.
After several neighbors began a search for the missing mayor, they found his truck with its door open and its engine still running, hours after the attack. Beside the truck was the body of the Bohlke.
The family will decide what to do with the aggressive donkey. Meanwhile, the Hollywood Park City Council is deciding who to appoint as its new mayor. Bohlke had only been in office since May.
“Bill, your mayor, dearly loved serving you, our community, and we only wish he was here to continue doing so,” his family wrote on a statement on the city’s website.
Mayor Pro Tem Steve Phillips is acting as a temporarily as mayor of Hollywood Park, until a replacement is found.
While donkey attacks are common, the American Donkey and Mule Society has never heard of a case where someone was killed by the animal.
“We often hear of people being injured by their donkeys, but can’t yet name one case where someone in the USA was killed by a donkey,” the society writes on its website.