KAILUA-KONA — A lamb named Loa was stolen from a Big Island animal shelter and another sheep injured in the theft had to be euthanized, officials said.
Hawaii Island Humane Society staff discovered the months-old lamb was missing from the Waimea shelter Monday.
Someone likely jumped over the entrance gate, the organization said. Staff members found a broken inner fence leading to the shelter’s pasture, which was home to the male lamb, two goats and three other sheep. The lamb was taken sometime between Sunday morning and Monday morning.
The burglar likely tried to steal the other sheep because one had an injury possibly caused by a lasso, the organization said. Staff decided the sheep had to be put down.
“This is a big concern because this has never happened out here in Waimea,” said Roxy O’Neal, a region manager of the organization. “We’ve had instances of theft in Kona and Keaau but not typically here, especially for a farm animal to be stolen out of our pastures and to have another one injured in the process is definitely concerning for us.”
The lamb was taken to the shelter about a month ago. Loa requires constant care to survive.
“Knowing the nature of an animal that requires special needs, it’s critical that this particular animal is found and receives its feed in order for it to survive,” said Regina Dodaro Romero Serrano, director of shelter operations
Big Island police are investigating the theft. A $200 reward is being offered to find Loa.