Since May, a total of 42 wild burros have been found illegally shot dead in California’s Mojave Desert.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is leading the investigation to find the people responsible with help from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
There are roughly 9,000 wild burros still roaming free out West. However, their numbers are dwindling due to roundups and recent shootings by calloused individuals. These intelligent long-eared animals are part of our nation’s history and federally protected by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Anyone found guilty of harassing, capturing, or killing one can face a fine up to $2,000 and a year in jail.
All of the killed burros were found with gunshot wounds along Interstate 15. BLM is offering a $10,000 reward for the conviction of the individuals responsible for this heinous act. This week, the American Wild Horse Campaign, Return to Freedom, The Cloud Foundation, and an anonymous donor behind The Platero Project added to the reward for a total of $50,000.
“We are eternally grateful to the Platero Project for assisting in the effort to bring justice to these innocent animals who have been brutally gunned down,” said Suzanne Roy of the American Wild Horse Campaign. “Burros are amazing creatures and an iconic part of the American West. They deserve our utmost respect and compassion.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the WeTip hotline at 800-78CRIME (800-782-7436) or visit http://www.wetip.com. Callers may remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward for information leading to the arrest(s) and conviction(s) of any person or persons responsible for the deaths of these protected animals, states American Wild Horse Campaign.
“Wild horses and burros are an iconic part of the American West, and part of our national heritage. We will pursue every lead until we’ve arrested and prosecuted those responsible for these cruel, savage deaths, and we welcome the public’s help to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice,” said William Perry Pendley, the BLM’s Deputy Director for Policy and Programs.