SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Baja California’s State Attorney General’s office ordered the removal of five painted burros that were found starving and sick on a property in Tijuana.

The animals had been mostly abandoned by their owners, although neighbors reportedly saw a man come by from time to time to remove the burros from the property, only to bring them back a few hours later.

Animal rescue personnel stated neighbors told them the donkeys were left unattended and without food for days at a time.

The burros were all painted to resemble zebras and were being used as props for pictures taken with tourists at various locations throughout the city according to police.

The rescued animals were kept in covered pens.

On Wednesday, a judge issued an order and the attorney general’s office asked the donkeys be removed from the property.

According to police, when officers and rescuers arrived, they found the animals to be “critically underweight and in need of veterinary attention.”

A white donkey named Ruben waits to get his painted-on black stripes touched up in a downtown alley in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, July 3, 2008. The so-called Mexican zebras have been a fixture in the streets of Tijuana since the 1940s. Everyone from Hollywood stars to returning migrants have posed with them for that perfect, souvenir portrait. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

The burros, also known as zonkeys, were taken to an animal shelter where they were fed and seen by a veterinarian.

The state attorney general’s office said this is a “clear case of animal neglect and abuse,” although no one has been arrested in connection with the rescue.

The AG’s office also stated it would follow up to see who owns the property.

The five donkeys are expected to survive and will be offered up for adoption once they are healthy and gain some weight.