A DONKEY was killed as a result of a hit-and-run crash in the New Forest.

A driver crashed into the young animal along Roger Penny Way at around 5pm on Sunday, December 3, but did not stop to report the incident.

One member of the public alongside a critical care doctor cared for the animal shortly after the crash and called the police.

The New Forest Agister arrived on the scene but had to dispatch the donkey due to the injuries it had received in the crash.

Police believe the driver was heading in the direction of Fordingbridge or Downton.

Debris from the offending vehicle included glass headlight remains which indicated the crash may have involved an older vehicle.

Salisbury Journal: Remains of a glass headlight were left at the scene.Remains of a glass headlight were left at the scene. (Image: Hampshire Police)

Anyone who knows of such a vehicle with recent front wing, mirror and headlight damage should contact the Fordingbridge policing team in confidence on 101 quoting reference 44230494153.

The incident comes just over one month after the New Forest National Park Authority issued a warning to drivers urging them to "expect the unexpected".

This followed research that found only a quarter of speeding drivers knew what to do if they were in a crash involving a free-roaming animal.

A total of 37 ponies, cattle, sheep and pigs were killed or injured in road incidents in the New Forest in 2023, up until October 24.

All accidents involving a free-roaming animal must be reported to the police as soon as possible, within 24 hours.

Either call 999 in an emergency or 101, the Vereders' Office on 023 8028 2052 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or Forestry England on 0300 067 4600 (24 hours).