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Marjorie Farabee joins us this evening to discuss the continuing efforts to obliterate the wild donkeys and burros Presently there are only 11 Herd Management Areas for burros with viable herds of 100 members or more in the United States. Even 100 is a marginal number for viability, which means that the burros are nearly completely gone, and with them goes a powerful symbol of our pioneering spirit. With them, goes a huge piece of who we are as Americans. These amazing animals are vilified unfairly and without scientific evidence as destroying habitat, when in fact they are an integral part of the habitat because they evolved in North America which is where they originated. And, they are also proven, through DNA, to be the species equus asinus a species which is listed with CITES as being globally critically endangered. The American people spoke loudly and clearly that they wanted the American burro to remain on the lands where they were found, when the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act was passed. And, they recently spoke loudly and clearly that they don't want them shot or eradicated, when 111,000 people signed the petition penned by our own Karen Van Atta co-founder of Wild Burro Protection League.
Despite the outcry, despite the protests, marches and pleas to politicians the body count rises, and the holding pens are filling up. Where's the logic? Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has shot hundreds of burros in their park, and eye witnesses have stated that they are still shooting them. Why? They belong to the people and they are woven into the culture and history of the people who live there. In essence, this is blatant disregard for the values, that the locals of the bordering towns around Big Bend Ranch State Park, hold dear.
It's good to talk.