Urgent help is needed to ensure the survival of the Wild Burro Rescue and Preservation Project (WBRPP) in Olancha, CA. The aim of the organization is to ease the plight of senior burros, who sadly receive scant respect from federal authorities.
WBRPP explain that the passage of the federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971 was intended to help wild equines “flourish in their desert home,” but it did so “in spirit only.” Rather, according to WBRPP, the act did the following: “It gave authority for mustangs and burros to the Bureau of Land Management, which meant that other agencies such as the National Park Service (NPS) could make their own policy toward these animals if they lived on NPS land. To the park service, burros were not free-roaming but non-native, which meant they had to go. Since then, NPS has continued its policy of ‘direct reduction,’ and thousands of burros have either been shot by contract hunters or harried to their doom or into overcrowded adoption pipelines in cruel airborne roundups.”
Millions of acres of former wild horse and burro range lands have been leased to the cattle industry, meaning that these once free-ranging animals now have very few safe spaces available to them.
The survival of organizations such as the WBRPP, which currently cares for over 200 burros, is vital for the preservation of these animals.
Staff and volunteers strive to give them the most fulfilling lives possible, in the hope that “one day our wild horses and burros can return to the wilderness, the land that is rightfully theirs, to live free and safe on their own.”
The sanctuary has set up a GoFundMe page with the aim of raising $19,000.
On the campaign page, they said, “The majority of our burros were already elders when rescued from being shot by the national park rangers at Death Valley National Park in 2000. Now, 15 years later, they are all approaching 35-40 years old. Other rescued burros have lived as BLM adopted burros till their lives changed for whatever reasons and then came here for sanctuary. Many have been abused as roping burros for rodeo practice.”
Many of the sanctuary’s elderly and ill burros require a special diet and a higher-than-usual standard of care, tailored to their specific needs.
These two beautiful residents are named Medicine Woman and Ghost Dancer: mother and son. Medicine Woman sadly passed away a few years ago, leaving Ghost Dancer heartbroken and “very depressed.” Another burro named Dean who was also recently bereaved came to WBRPP soon afterwards. He became “best of friends (with Ghost Dancer) and their depression turned to hope and they are enjoying life again.”
WBRPP receives no government funding and does not have paid staff – everyone who dedicates themselves to ensuring that the burros’ senior years are as fulfilling as possible in this wonderful place is a volunteer. To find out more about the organization’s work, visit their Facebook page or website. You can donate to the GoFundMe campaign here. Alternatively, you can choose to donate directly to the sanctuary via their website, or symbolically adopt a burro.
All image source: Wild Burro Rescue and Preservation Project/Facebook