BLM Asks Drivers to Watch Out for Nevada’s Red Rock Burros

Sunday, December 04 2011 12:30   Nevada
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Southern Nevada District Office is asking motorists driving along state route 159 in the Red Rock area to be careful of wild burros.

In the past year, at least 11 burros have been hit and killed or sustained injuries leading to euthanization.The burros are increasingly wandering onto the road creating a safety hazard for people traveling the highways.

nevada_burro"This is an area where people tend to feed the burros," said Krystal Johnson, BLM wild horse and burro specialist. "Now they're accustomed to being fed, and they hang alongside the road waiting for food. They hear the cars coming and think it's feeding time."

Feeding and interacting with the burros makes them lose aspects of their wild character and associate vehicles with food, Johnson said. It is illegal to feed, pet, or otherwise harass a wild horse or burro. Individuals will be cited for those activities, and the citations carry a fine.

The word "burro" is derived from the Spanish word "borrico," meaning donkey. Burro refers to a small donkey, often used as a pack animal.

Burros were first seen in the Arizona territory in 1679, when Jesuit priest Padre Eusebion Kino brought them to the Spanish mission at San Xavier de Bac in southern Arizona.

The existence of burros as free-roaming animals in the hills and mountains of the lower Colorado River Valley came after gold was discovered at Gila City in 1858. Prospectors poured into the area from California and Sonora, Mexico bringing with them sturdy pack burros.

For more information about the Southern Nevada District Wild Horse and Burro program, contact Krystal Johnson at (702) 515-5171 or visit the Web site at .


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