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By 8 NEWS NOW
Burros said to be a “safety hazard” by Bureau of Land Management officials will be rounded up within the Blue Diamond community near Red Rock National Conservation Area beginning Monday. BLM workers will gather about 30 nuisance burros from the baseball diamond within the community. The temporary bait trap will consist of a series of corral panels and hay, and will be removed every evening so the park can be used. BLM officials said the “nuisance burros” are being gathered because they pose a safety hazard along State Route 159 and cause property damage in Blue Diamond. The gather is expected to last about five days.
Since October 2010, at least 13 burros were killed or had to be euthanized after being hit by cars. Although the roadway is completely fenced, the wild burros still manage to get to 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. 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 being gathered, the burros will be made available for adoption in the near future in the Las Vegas area. The timing of this collection is said to be 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. 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. Penalties include a citation that carries a minimum fine of $500.