Hero mule Hickory leads two hikers to his injured 60-year-old owner

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Hero mule Hickory leads two hikers to injured 60-year-old owner after falling off during drive in Oregon

  • ‘Hickory’ led two hikers on the Milo McIver State Park trail to its injured owner after the 60-year-old fell
  • On Sunday, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said the mule had disappeared into the woods
  • Toni Palmateer and her daughter Winter went in search of the mule the day after it was reported missing
  • A friend of the owner confirmed that the mule is a six-year-old male named Hickory that the injured owner only owned for a few months.

A 60-year-old man who was injured after falling off his donkey while on a trek, was rescued by two hikers after the animal led them to its owner.

But the mule, Hickory, disappeared into the undergrowth in Milo McIver State Park in Oregon on Sunday and went missing for a day until he was tracked down by two Good Samaritans.

On Sunday, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s deputies provided assistance to the 60-year-old man. According to tweet from the sheriff’s office, the person calling for help reported that the mule had led them to the injured man.

Toni and Winter Palmateer found 'Hickory' the donkey on Monday.  The mule was entangled in its reins and had difficulty moving

Toni and Winter Palmateer found ‘Hickory’ the donkey on Monday. The mule was entangled in its reins and had difficulty moving

Sgt. Marcus Mendoza told it The Oregonian / OregonLive that the mule led Doug Calvert and his wife, who were on an equestrian trial on foot, to the injured man.

Calvert says the mule was alone and looking at them.

“It just kept stopping and looking back to make sure we were following it,” Calvert said. So we started to go faster, and it went faster. Eventually we came within sight of the fallen lord. ‘

“He seemed very determined to get us to follow him,” he added.

Calvert said that as soon as the mule led them to the injured owner, he withdrew and while the couple nursed the injured man and called 911, the mule went back on the trail and went missing.

Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies responded to Milo McIver State Park to provide assistance to a 60-year-old man who was injured after falling off his donkey while on a ride

Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies responded to Milo McIver State Park to provide assistance to a 60-year-old man who was injured after falling off his donkey while on a ride

Clackamas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Milo McIver State Park to provide assistance to a 60-year-old man who was injured after falling off his donkey while on a ride

After finding the tangled mule, Winter untied Hickory's reins

After finding the tangled mule, Winter untied Hickory's reins

After finding the tangled mule, Winter untied Hickory’s reins

The Clackamas Sheriff's Office said the person calling for help reported that the mule led them to the injured man

Clackamas Sheriff's Office said the person calling for help reported that the mule led them to the injured man

The Clackamas Sheriff’s Office said the person calling for help reported that the mule led them to the injured man

The social media report from Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office about the incident inspired Toni Palmateer, a local respiratory therapist, to locate the mule.

Palmateer and her 16-year-old daughter Winter got up Monday morning, packed their trailer with two horses, and were determined to locate the mule they’d read about on social media the day before.

The pair rode to the Milo McIver State Park trail where the mule was last seen and were attacked by a jogger who told them there was a mule in need in the path from the parking lot.

After saddling, the pair found the mule half a mile later. The mule was entangled in its reins and had difficulty moving.

After finding the tangled mule, Winter got off her horse and began untangling the reins of the Hickory.

“The moment we got there and untied the reins, he put his head down and just followed us in a very relaxed way,” said Toni Palmateer. “He was very gentle.”

When Palmateer and her daughter came back to the trailer they came across Sandy Leicht, a neighbor and friend of the injured man.

Leicht told the Oregonian / OregonLive that the mule is a 6-year-old male named Hickory, and the 60-year-old only owned him for a few months.

Leicht said her neighbor did not want to be publicly identified.

Hickory has been brought back home and is doing well after the night in the woods, the Oregonian / OregonLive reported.

Leicht confirmed that her injured friend is still recovering in the hospital.

Palmateer says she is happy that she and her daughter were part of a community effort to find a missing animal.

“My daughter missed her first menstrual course, but it was great for her to be part of something more important,” she said. “Hopefully they apologize for her absence.”

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