This article was updated November 9th, 2011 with a response from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; please see below.
Texas is set to slaughter wild burros to make room for bighorn sheep. Why? Because hunters will pay thousands of dollars to buy hunting permits to shot the bighorn. Only 300 burros, ancestors of relic herds that have lived in the state for hundreds of years, remain on Texas land. While Texas has legal authority to kill the wild burros, it doesn’t mean they should.
Please write to the individuals below and express your desire that an irreplaceable relic herd of a few hundred burros should be allowed to live out their lives in peace and tranquility rather than be slaughtered.
Update: NHES received a response to our letter to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department clarifying the killing of wild burros at Big Bend Ranch State Park. From the letter, “[The park] is being managed for the benefit of plant and animal communities indigenous to the Chihuahuan Desert region.” The letter further indicates that the killing of the burros is not so that hunting opportunities for desert bighorn sheep can be increased. Finally, the letter states that the Texas Parks and Wildlife “staff has cooperated with wild horse and burro rescue groups in an effort to capture and relocate feral burros….Regrettably, and in spite of good intentions, that effort has not resulted in the capture or removal of one burro.” NHES thanks the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for this clarification.
Brent Leisure, Director
Texas State Parks
Carter Smith, Executive Director
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
The Honorable T. Dan Friedkin
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
1375 Enclave Parkway
Houston, TX 77077