An investigation is underway into the death of a burro that was found shot with an arrow in Riverside County, officials said Wednesday.

On April 30, California Highway Patrol and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department both received numerous calls about a wounded burro in Reche Canyon, between Keissel Road and Mercadante Lane.

Officers responded to find the animal with an arrow in its underside, Riverside County Department of Animal Services officials said.

They loaded the ailing animal onto a trailer and took it to an equine hospital, where it ultimately died of its injury, despite doctors’ efforts.

The burro had likely been in severe pain and could not lay down to rest, making its suffering worse, Animal Services Commander Josh Sisler said.

“We’re certain that someone willfully shot this burro with the intent in killing it,” Sisler said. “The burro was struck in a very vulnerable area and its force was so strong it punctured through to the opposite side of the burro. It’s shameless to maim an innocent animal and cause its demise. We’re hopeful we can find the person responsible for this heinous act.”

The arrow was turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, with hopes that investigators could find fingerprint evidence that can help find whoever shot the burro, officials said.

“This is highly disturbing that someone would purposely harm a defenseless animal and cause its death,” Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said in a news release. “If anyone has any helpful information, we urge them to contact us as we pursue felony animal cruelty charges.”

Reche Canyon residents, hikers and horseback riders were asked to be on the lookout for anyone suspicious, including anyone with archery equipment or a rifle.