Dean Short snaps a picture of mules running north on Fifth Avenue on Dec. 15. The mules broke free somehow from a pen on Fir Street and were rounded up after about an hour. Submitted photo

Dean Short snaps a picture of mules running north on Fifth Avenue on Dec. 15. The mules broke free somehow from a pen on Fir Street and were rounded up after about an hour. Submitted photo

Mule-tide greetings: National Park’s mules run free in Sequim

Locals are calling last Friday night “The Great Mule Roundup of 2017.”

Sequim Police Department reports 28 mules were found loose trotting in and around Sequim on Dec. 15.

Lisa Hopper, Sequim animal control officer, said calls began coming in around 4:30 p.m. and she, Sequim Police officers, and the animals’ caretakers began chasing after them.

The mules traveled about 8 miles round trip from their pasture on the 800 block of West Fir Street to North Fifth Avenue and across Old Olympic Highway to the 700 block of Evans Road, Hopper said.

From there, they crossed Sequim-Dungeness Way into Sunland and back to Evans Road.

Police vehicles blocked the road to direct the mules from Fifth Avenue to their pasture where they were being kept for winter. They were back in the pasture a little more than an hour after being discovered on the roads.

“It was kind of dusk when they first go out so they were moving pretty fast from being scared of all the lights,” Hopper said.

One mule broke free from the pack but was soon rounded up after the others by Hardy’s Market and Rock Plaza, Hopper said.

“We’re not quite sure how they got out because no fences were pushed down,” she said.

The mules are owned by Olympic National Park, Hopper said, and reside in Sequim during the winter.

She said the mules used to live off Evans Road and they broke free briefly several years ago but there haven’t been any recent breakouts like this.

Sgt. Dave Campbell with Sequim Police Department said no persons or property including the mules were damaged or injured during the incident.

Hopper said citizens kept their composure for the incident moving vehicles aside on the road, not honking their car horns, and phoning in to let police know where the mules were going.

“That’s what Sequim is all about,” she said.

Dean Short snaps a picture of mules running north on Fifth Avenue on Dec. 15. The mules broke free somehow from a pen on Fir Street and were rounded up after about an hour. Submitted photo

Dean Short snaps a picture of mules running north on Fifth Avenue on Dec. 15. The mules broke free somehow from a pen on Fir Street and were rounded up after about an hour. Submitted photo

Mules from Olympic National Park broke free from their pen Friday, Dec. 15, and began trotting along Sequim’s streets including Fifth Avenue. Photo courtesy of Michelle Nucci

Mules from Olympic National Park broke free from their pen Friday, Dec. 15, and began trotting along Sequim’s streets including Fifth Avenue. Photo courtesy of Michelle Nucci

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