Police have arrested two men in connection with the theft of donkey foal 'Moon' from a Hampshire petting farm.

Officers from Hampshire Constabulary's Countrywatch team, assisted by the Thames Valley Police Rural Crime Taskforce, made the arrests on Thursday evening.

A 17-year-old male and a 38-year-old male from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, were arrested at 8pm on June 1 on suspicion of theft.

Suspected stolen plant machinery was also recovered from the scene on Whitehouse Lane in High Wycombe.

A police spokesman said: "Both have been released under investigation while further enquiries continue by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary’s Country Watch Team."

It comes after baby donkey Moon was reunited with her owners at Millers Ark farm in Hook following a police investigation.

The donkey, just 12 weeks old, was stolen from Millers Ark on Blackstock Lane some time before 5pm on Monday, May 15.

Late Wednesday night Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary was contacted by the farm, who had been sent some information about Moon.

It immediately deployed officers to an address on White House Lane in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

At around 8.15pm the stolen donkey was located, recovered and returned to the delight of the owners.

Police Sergeant Stuart Ross, of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s Countrywatch team, said: "This was a fantastic piece of joint working from Countrywatch and Thames Valley Police's Rural Task Force team.

"Our appeals to find Moon attracted countless calls and online reports from members of the public with possible sightings and potential lines of enquiry and we want to thank everyone who shared these appeals and got in touch with us.

Missing donkey foal Moon, May 2023.
Missing donkey foal Moon (Miller's Ark)

"We are absolutely delighted about this positive outcome.

"Hampshire & the Isle of Wight Constabulary’s Country Watch team will continue with an investigation into the circumstances of the theft of this donkey."

Pamela Jessopp, of Millers Ark Animals, added: "We are beyond excited ecstatic. You always hold out hope but as the time frame and the time window got larger you do wonder if she would be found or not.

"It is so much down to members of the public, our supporters that have got the word out there and spread it on social media. It's been a heartfelt story that has caught people's emotions.

"We are very grateful to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, Surrey Police and Thames Valley Police for their support and investigation and for the speedy action last night."

Our investigation is still ongoing so anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference 44230191581.