Update: Through Wednesday, Dec. 20, 39 jacks — no jennies or foals — had been captured with no reports of injuries, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
LAS VEGAS – The Bureau of Land Management says there’s a burro problem on the outskirts of Pahrump and along Highway 160 north of town.
A 30-day roundup started Tuesday night and the BLM says it has already captured several dozen burros in an effort to thin what it calls an overcrowded herd.
“They’re not fearless by any means, but they’re more willing to look at you like this,” said Tabitha Romero, BLM wild horse & burro specialist.
At first glance, the wild burros don’t seem so wild at all. They’re plump and seem pretty comfortable around people.
Romero says, that’s the problem.
“There’s issues with the burros destroying private property and also crossing Hwy. 160, so in the north end of town, people have best intentions, but they are feeding at several different properties.”
Romero says that’s led the burros to become nuisances. There’s only enough food for about 100 burros in the desert range north of Pahrump.
“I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is the Mohave desert, so it is very limited resources,” Romero said.
But there are more than three times that due in part to a lack of predators. The herd doubles in size every four years. So, the BLM is stepping in.
The BLM’s contractor has captured about half of the 75 or so burros that they want to relocate. Half of those were taken out this morning, so about 18 of them are still in the pen, ready to be shipped to a facility in California.
There have been documented instances of the BLM mistreating burros during roundups. Romero insists that will not be the case during this roundup.
“Whenever we are trying to move them, we just have a stick with a plastic bag on it, so it kind of makes a little bit of noise, we don’t ever strike the animal or try to run them into a panel or anything,” Romero said.
From here, the burros will see a veterinarian for a checkup, vaccinations and any treatment needed. Then they’re up for adoption.
Romero says the ones who don’t find a home in a few years will move to a facility in the Midwest to graze and roam in pastures for the rest of their lives.
The BLM says the burros also cause a public safety issue. Cars have hit nearly two dozen burros along Highway 160 in the past 13 months.