Officials working to catch 30 wild burros in Blue Diamond - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Officials working to catch 30 wild burros in Blue Diamond

BLUE DIAMOND (FOX5) -

The Bureau of Land Management Monday began efforts to catch about 30 wild burros in the Blue Diamond community.

The nuisance burros are being gathered because they pose a safety hazard along State Route 159 and cause property damage in Blue Diamond, according to officials. The gather is expected to last about five days.

The burros are being lured into a baseball diamond within the Blue Diamond community near the Red Rock National Conservation Area (NCA). The temporary bait trap will consist of a series of corral panels and hay and will be removed every evening so the community will be able to utilize the park without the panels being in the way.

According to BLM, since October 2010 at least 13 burros were killed or had to be euthanized due to vehicle collisions. The roadway is completely fenced, but the wild burros still manage to get in the road looking for food from the tourists and locals who feed them. This encourages the wild burros to stand on, and along the roadways begging for food, according to BLM.

Feeding the animals has caused approximately 30-40 burros to lose their wild characteristics and normal fear of humans and vehicles.

"These particular burros have gotten so used to being fed along the road, they now are looking to people for food all the time," said Krystal Johnson, wild horse and burro specialist. "They are no longer foraging and moving through the Red Rock Herd Management Area like they would with their normal wild characteristics."

After gather operations have ended, the burros will be made available for adoption in the Las Vegas area. Adoption information will be released in the coming weeks.

BLM says the timing of this collection is important, as burro-vehicle accidents usually increase during September and October as the weather begins cooling off and more visitation and traffic increases through the Red Rock NCA.

The public is reminded that feeding wild horses and burros is dangerous as wild animals can be unpredictable 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 minimum fine of $500.00.

Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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