The burro overpopulation is causing major problems

YUMA Ariz. – Across Arizona’s public land, burros are vastly overpopulated. An estimated 4400 live in the state. That is more than two times higher than it should be under the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.

The free roaming donkeys are destructive to the desert habitat, disrupting other wildlife in the region.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has asked the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to release information regarding a plan to control the population.

“We really would like to find solutions moving forward working with BLM. We also recognize this is not an issue with the local BLM office. This is national level. They’re just not providing appropriate budgets or authority for the local folks to do their job,” Arizona Game and Fish Region 4 supervisor Pat Barber said.

Burros are protected from hunting by federal law. However, as their numbers double in size every four years, state officials say the federal government must step in.

“Under the act, there are several remedies when the populations get over. One of them, you’ll hear people talk about sometimes is euthanization or killing extra animals. That is unacceptable socially to a lot of people, and it’s highly controversial. We’re not advocating for that, but barring that the primary solution is to capture and remove the animals and put them up for adoption,” Barber said.

Officials say the damage these invasive creatures are causing is severe and long term.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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