Donkey freed after RY Khan police swoop on gambling race
A court in Pakistan has released a donkey that had been held following a case of illegal gambling.
The men had wagered bets on a challenge that the donkey could run three furlongs (600 metres) in 40 seconds. But there were legal complications concerning the release of the donkey, which had been impounded by the police.
The story led to a flurry of media interest after reports that the donkey had been arrested and later granted bail. However, police told the BBC that the animal had simply been impounded for four days.
Donkeys are frequently used as beasts of burden in rural areas of Pakistan and betting on donkey-cart races is not uncommon.
The recent case occurred in the rural outskirts of Rahimyar Khan City. Police swooped on the race before it began.
The incident attracted local media interest and journalists were seen hanging about the cattle-yard, taking pictures and interviewing police.
On Wednesday, the court handed custody of the donkey to its owner, Ghulam Mustafa (known by his alias Kaka), on condition of safe-keeping until the case was decided.
When oxen were more in use in Pakistan, several decades ago, they would often be impounded by police following a dispute over ownership. It happens far less nowadays, prompting reports in this case that the donkey had been formally detained.