Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BLM Arizona Wild Burro Stampede Concludes, for the Moment

Straight from the Horse's Heart
Story by Jayne Hanson of

57 Wild Burros Taken in Arizona

Captured Wild Burros by Jayne Hanson 

Photo courtesy of Today’s News-Herald, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

A wild burro round up effort recently wrapped up after Bureau of Land Management officials successfully captured 57 burros north of Lake Havasu City, AZ— in 11 days.
“We’ve stopped for now,” said BLM wild horse and burro specialist Chad Benson. “The last burros were captured on Oct. 11.”
According to earlier reports, the round up officially began with the successful capture of 15 burros Oct. 1. Another 14 head were captured Oct. 2 bringing the total to 29 burros in two days.
In the end, the 57 wild burros included 22 “Jacks,” or males; 21 “Jennies,” or females; and 14 colts. A wild burro is considered a colt up to the age of one year, Benson said.
“I was kind of surprised, you know, but you just never know,” he said. “You can go in there and get an idea on how many there are. I knew there were a lot of burros in there so I knew there were about 50 head in there, give or take.”
Benson said there are still wild burros in the desert area north of Havasu but they are living in rough country near the Colorado River.
“They’re just not coming out to find the bait traps near the highway,” he said. “We are done in that area for now. If we have more problems then we’ll go back in and assess the situation. But for now, we’ve taken as many as we can.”
In late September, three live bait traps were situated at undisclosed locations north of Havasu but within a few miles of State Route milepost 192. The section of roadway had proven hazardous after a string of vehicle collisions that killed a handful of wild burros.
According to earlier reports, six donkeys were killed in five separate vehicle wrecks between Aug. 16 and Sept. 26. All but one was in the area of SR95 milepost 192. The remaining one occurred on a Crystal Beach roadway.
As of mid-September, Arizona Department of Transportation placed large flashing road signs warning motorists of the animals. The signs are southbound SR95 near Interstate 40/SR95 interchange and northbound near Havasu city limits.
BLM officials are set to coordinate with ADOT to determine how much longer the signs will remain, Benson said.
The captured burros will be put up for adoption through BLM.
“There is always an interest in burros,” Benson said. “They will be heading to Ridgecrest, Calif., to be freeze branded and prepped for adoption.”
Preparation includes receiving immunizations, being wormed and held for 20 or 30 days to receive immunization boosters.
The burros are branded for identification purposes used during adoption follow-up procedures.
“After (burros) are adopted, they belong to the United State’s government for one year,” Benson said. “It is so you show you can take care of it and follow all guidelines.”
Guidelines include the general health of the animal including making sure their hooves are trimmed. After successfully passing adoption inspection, the burro is titled and officially becomes personal property.
The BLM wild burro adoption effort is nationwide.
“(The captured burros) very well could’ve left Arizona forever,” Benson said. “But some may come back if there is an adoption over here.”
Comments, statistics and opinions expressed in the above article do not necessarily represent those affiliated with SFTHH

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