AUSTIN (CBS Houston) — With 75 of the expected 300 wild donkeys roaming Big Bend State Park already having been terminated for being declared threats to the park’s ecosystem, donkey advocates have urged the state to halt the killings.

More than 100,000 signatures have been collected in an effort on the part of donkey enthusiasts to cease any more indiscriminate killings of wild donkeys at Big Bend State Park, originally based on what Texas Parks and Wildlife officials labeled as a significant threat to the park’s ecosystem as they try to introduce new animals to the environment. They were presented to Capitol officials Wednesday, hoping to find an alternative to avoid the fate of the 75 donkeys that have been killed to this point.

“It really hurts me to know the money I’m paying for my camp sites and entry fees are going to fund to kill an animal I hold dear to my heart,” Waco-based veterinarian and donkey owner Jennifer Garretson told CBS Houston. “These same parks are brutally killing these donkeys.”

The two-year issue surrounding the wild donkeys has reached a tipping point as proponents of an alternative, such as the Wild Burro Protection League, have been forceful in saying that no study has been performed on the ecological effect that the wild donkeys have on Big Bend’s ecosystem. Another matter concerns the matter in which the donkeys are terminated, preferring to indiscriminately shoot the donkeys in the body on site, and letting them die in pain instead of shooting them in the head, Garretson said.

“I think it’s inhumane and intolerable.”

Park and Wildlife officials contend that the estimated 300 wild donkeys across the 315,000-acre West Texas state park are not native to the area, thus making them a threat to the environment.

“We try to keep nature natural. Because the feral burros are not native, we do not feel that they have a place in our state parks,” Parks and Wildlife Spokesman Kevin Good told the Houston Chronicle. “I don’t see our agency changing its policy regarding non-native and exotic and invasive species.”

Still, the matter remains frustrating for pro-donkey supporters, Garretson telling CBS Houston that Park and Wildlife officials have “closed their ears and eyes to other alternatives.” Even with Texas Gov. Rick Perry saying that he believed the Parks and Wildlife people would make the right decision, Garretson doesn’t believe that to be the case, adding that the initiative would also include the termination of sheep, elk, cougars, and bobcats.

“They, as humans, are doing more damage to the ecosystem by destroying both predator and prey,” said Garretson.

Messages left by CBS Houston for Good were not immediately returned.

Comments (104)
  1. Tim says:

    Is there a Burro Rescue that can get involved? Where can one go to help stop this and support the care of these animals.

    1. Ben says:

      Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue is based in Texas

    2. Robbie Frank Zanetic says:

      1. Robbie Frank Zanetic says:

        Donkey Milk is a HEALING Medicinal Drink!!!

  2. Snake says:

    I though Texans has weapons and balls. Simply come out in force and tell them if they shoot one more animal, the gun fire will began. They will back down. 100,000 weapons against what they have is no match for them.

    1. Jimbo says:

      That’s what you get for thinking.

    2. Cranky ole yankee says:

      Wow. That wasn’t a very bright comment…. That’s what happens when you give a donkey a keyboard.

      1. Sadie says:

        It’s even worse when you give donkeys the White House.

      2. Jimbo says:

        It was bright enough, YANKEE. The poster posted drivel, bad grammar, and poor syntax.

        Now, head back up north to one of your socialist utopia’s.

    3. rufus levin says:

      cheaper to shoot a treehugger and then drill for oil everywhere.

      1. MissMe says:

        wonder if you have to get a license to hunt them

      2. Charlie Adams In Kentucky says:

        Stupid inbred a$$hole. Some of us treehuggers shoot back.

    4. greenkey75 says:

      Sometimes, only the barrel of a gun will get someone who is in power to listen. What most people do not realize is that a lot of people who get into power get swollen heads. And this power level does not need to be very high up. They do not care what anyone else has to say because they are in power, and they are always right. Just remember absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      1. RHO says:

        You are equating culling the donkey herd with the Holocaust? Are you insane? There is no comparison. You need a lesson on perspective. You should be worrying about Obama taking your liberties and freedoms, not a few donkeys.

    5. Mikey says:

      I’m one of those gun toting Texans and I couldn’t care less about this.

      1. greenkey75 says:

        Gee, you do not care about this subject, but you took the time to add a reply. You know, a lot of Germans did not care about what Hitler was doing. So you see, not caring about something can come back and bite you.

      2. Zexufang Fang says:

        Since Texas did re-districting – I thought donkeys were scarce in Texas.

  3. Dan says:

    Maybe it should be those ecoterrorist that need a little thinning of the heard instead of the donkeys.

  4. thisagain says:

    This “native species” argument is such BS. Do you know that the vast majority of so-called “native” species in this country were imported from Europe? They just consider them to have been here long enough to be called “native”. It is so stupid. I really wish these arrogant people would realize that nature is not in desperate need of their supervisory skills.

    1. More of the Same'ol says:

      They are as native as the Native Americans/Mexicans. They migrated here from somewhere else but have been here long enough to be called natives.

      1. thisagain says:

        I guess the donkeys arrived on an unacceptable date? What date is the cut off to be declared a native? Is it based solely on what they like? What exactly is their criteria? The Park service certainly isn’t native, so why are they in charge of all the other species?

      2. rufus levin says:

        ….feral democrats……

    2. John says:

      Exactly, the Native Americans are not Native (i.e the original inhabitants). They say so themselves in their histories.

  5. sandy healey says:

    It would seem that 300 donkeys would make much of an impact on 315,000 acres. Makes you wonder how long they have been there destroying the ecosystem. What we don’t like we attempt to destroy.

    1. sagebrush says:

      the great majority of that 315,000 acres will not support a jackrabbit. Reality is closer to 30-50,000 acres of habitat. Never let reality get in the way of a good cause though. Does this mean that wild horses are non-native, invasive creatures as well? uh oh

  6. LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV says:

    Thin the liberals. Leave the Donkeys.

    1. Jerry says:

      thin the liberals and the donkeys…

  7. deRuiter says:

    Why can’t they do this with the illegal aliens and ecoterrorists? Surely the illegals sneaking over the border and polluting our culture, bankrupting our hospitals, schools and welfare programs, are not a native species! The donkeys are doing less damage, there are only 300 of them, the illegals are in the millions.

    1. LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV says:

      Illegal aliens vote for Democrats, therefore are no threat to the government.

    2. rufus levin says:

      the donkeys that don’t get killed all get elected to Government by the democrats

  8. Ian says:

    The Park and Wildlife officials aren’t native either. Maybe they should kill themselves.

    1. rufus levin says:

      only if they vote Democrat….then Fast and Furious will provide weapons maybe…

  9. Fritz Head says:

    So, here we go again. TPWD raises it’s minuscule head and declares another “problem” which they need to address, which of course will require funding and a new bureaucratic entity to administer. It reminds me of the double speak and flip-flopping over the hydrilla issue at Aquarena Springs, or the claim that small boats were negatively affecting “their” precious water, and needed to be taxed, licensed, and registered.

    TPWD needs it head lopped off and it’s budget seriously cut. It has become a detriment to Texas sportsmen and outdoors.

    1. Jimbo says:

      TPWD is simply out of control. It has become another of Rick Perry’s revenue generating bureaucracies, and nothing more.

      1. Robb says:

        Jacka$$e$ killing Jacka$$e$.

  10. Sue says:

    The most damaging animal to the environment is the human.

    1. rufus levin says:

      the Democrat version

    2. 51 Phantom says:

      The most damaging animal to the environment is …..YOU!

  11. Casper says:

    I promise you, the idiots who are making these life and death (for the donkeys) decisions will turn out to be (with some basic investigating) godless morons. Who else but an arrogant atheist can feel comfortable deciding the fate of one of God’s creatures?

    1. rufus levin says:

      obama for one.

      1. DaveIn84 says:

        hey Rufus – the commercial is over and Jerry Springer is back on.
        300 donkeys on 315,000 acres is a problem? Like others have said – the illegals are a much (much) bigger problem.

    2. rufus levin says:

      I am all for Planned Parenthood to start performing Donkey Abortions to solve this terrible social problem….A female donkey’s body is her own and only she should decide to give birth to a baby donkey that she got pregnant by some big old incestuous buck donkey that might have been a family member or a boyfriend of her sister or granny.

      1. Ben Abler says:

        Might the donkeys seek employment in Tijuana Mexico, I hear they utilize donkeys in their entertainment…..or on a serious note, round them up and let people come get them.

  12. No More Enviroweenies says:

    Spokesman Kevin Good is not native to Big Bend either. So by his logic he does not have a place and would support having someone else shoot him in the gut and leave him to die.

  13. rufus levin says:

    kill the donkeys and drill for oil…build the pipeline…..get serious ADULTS.

  14. Tex Geoas says:

    People are not “native” to the Big Bend area, either. Is Texas going to shoot us, too? Stop killing the donkeys.

    1. John says:

      Actually, the plan is to reduce earth’s human population by 95%.

  15. James Goodnight says:

    The Texas Parks@Wildlife Department are the ones who should be eliminated instead of the donkeys.And then they go on to say they are going to eliminate other species of wildlife in Big Bend. Who do they think they are.Does the governmental departments think they can just do as they please,without any input,or oversight?I thought they worked for the people of Texas.Some people when given a little authority,think they are given dictatorial powers.Power corrupts.Enough already.Governor Perry,Texas Congress,Representatives,where are you?

    1. DAR GODSEY says:

      did the governor stop this OR WAS HIS CAMPAINING KEEPING HIM FROM DOING A HUMANE ACT? this has got to be stopped.TODAY!!!!

  16. FN Cee says:

    If this is true, hope the meat was used to feed hungry people … not just left to the coyotes and buzzards …

    1. rufus levin says:

      who would eat the meat….anyone needing food has food stamps for the grocery store…only Asians and French and 3rd World poor folks eat “non-acceptable” horse, donkey, or mule meat….fido and kiddy are good too….

  17. aubreyfarmer says:

    Give the guys with the National Park Service a little credit. Surely they see the damage done by roving herds of wild donkeys. Big Bend has Big Horn Sheep that depend on what little vegetation there is in the Sierra Madres and Chihuahan Desert. So if the park rangers are correct and public pressure prevents them from doing their job and all of the Big Horn die as a result of starvation who will get the blame. The park service of course and all of those that second guessed their decision to reduce the wild burro population will be at home congratulating themselves for being protectors of the wild burros.

    1. rufus levin says:

      same fools don’t see why the Alaskans have to thin out caraboo and wolves by killing them so the others won’t start to death… far, no one has come up all fuzzy and warm about wild feral hogs that destroy everything….but they are not cuddly and have no stuffed animals for the kids to grow up chewing on.

  18. RT says:

    So less than 1 donkey per 1000 acres is a threat to the ecosystem? What nonsense. We have wild donkeys in the San Bernardino Mountains in So. Ca. and I’ve never heard of them being declared a threat to a much smaller area. In fact, it’s a kick to see them in the wild. I bet Texas’ beloved cattle have done far worse damage to the ecosystem than any donkey.

    1. pfflt says:

      The cattle are on ranches. But ok. They do the same amount of damage to the ecosystem as a winery, farm or wind power facility

      1. rufus levin says:

        actually, the cattle are in feed lots and much closer confined…there is nothing for them to tear up….

      2. comeon says:

        Rufus? I live in Texas. Don’t assume.

        Do I need to post pics of the cattle grazing? Don’t believe everything Oprah tells you, ok?

    2. rufus levin says:

      hell, the most destructive living things in CALIFORNIA is Californians…..most of the rest of us keep hoping for a huge earthquake along the St Andreas that lets the state sink into the Pacific and make Nevada into ocean front residential property to solve their economy….California is not solveable….we could not even give it to Mexico.

    3. JDS says:

      Since you don’t seem to know anything about the current situation in West Texas I will explain. The ecosystem in question is suffering through one of the worst droughts in recorded history if not the worst. The earth from the Permian Basin to Big Bend is the consitency of powdered sugar and much of the native vegetation has died. Also, many of the ranchers you are bad mouthing have either sold their cattle or are going broke feeding them. Shoot the donkeys or let them die a miserable death of starvation. It matters not to me.

  19. rufus levin says:

    If Obama and the EPA and the Commerce Dept and HHS all have their way….we are going to need all the donkeys to ride around on since there will be no gasoline in America.

  20. Gary Johnson says:

    Were any of them named Pelosi, Reed or Obama……?

  21. JB says:

    How long has TPWD been run by Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group?

  22. Liz says:

    Texas Governor Perry drops out of the presidential running, then this comes out in the news the next day. Wonderful job, Gov., you are killing your own state.. I am sure there are many people who would adopt one, two, or dozens. I would, if I were allowed to where I live.

  23. hahaha says:

    I truly despise that gigantic line of fans on top of erector sets on top of mountains as far as the eye can see when you drive in to California on Hwy 10. That is so ugly, particularly when it’s framed by that green and brown smog drifting up out of LA’s bowl. But it is ever so tres enviro-chic, isn’t it? Nevermind the reality of the situation. Pound sand, condors! You ugly and we can feel smug about this, so no one cares. Of course we’ll say it’s a shame, though. For awareness!

  24. Mikey says:

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the headline was, “You could choke a dozen donkeys with that and you’re arguing over a hundred quid?!?!

  25. Eff says:

    Somehow this will turn out to be George W Bush’s fault like everything else.

  26. John Ross says:

    Democrat environmentalists protecting democrat symbol…whatever

  27. Bill says:

    Yet just this morning I read an article that exterminators in Washington DC can’t kill rats or mice. They have to be caught (as a family unit) and released!

  28. Don August says:

    Is it permissable to kill the donkeys in Washington DC due to their threat to the United States?

  29. Joemama says:

    Nut job eco lunatics. What’s next? Humans? Non native anglos? Reminds me of a discussion I had a year ago with some local CA hippie.
    “Dude, the world can only sustain 2 billion people!” “Oh, really? Where’d you get that information? Al Gore?” “Yeah, man!” “Well, I believe there are about 7 billion of us right now.” “Yeah, man this is not sustainable, dude!” “Okay!!!!??? Do you have kids?” “Yeah, man I have three girls. Why???”
    Stupid is as stupid does! Unfortunately it appears that the clowns are in charge.

    1. shockedarewe says:

      You haven’t figured out that liberals always believe it is someone else’s responsibility, but expecting them to sacrifice anything is oppression? Have you seen this thing called OWS? They really sum it all up for you.

  30. Sarah Twining says:

    An animal killing story getting this much publicity? My boss at the Humane Society of the United States wants everyone reading this to send him money.
    Don’t send it to local groups who are actually working in Texas and elsewhere to save these animals. We at The HSUS DESPERATELY need to increase our $225 million bank balance and hire even more fundraisers and thuggish lawyers so we can continue to destroy anyone who criticizes us and exposes where your donations really go.

    P.S. Humane Wayne says: Kill dogs, not donkeys.


  31. real live person says:

    That will teach them to go public with something like this. If they would have just dealt with the donkey without saying anything no one would have cared. People are just being controversial for the sake of it…….who cares! it is a loud, stinking Donkey! What a bunch of cry babies….

  32. Mike_88 says:

    If you are going to kill them at least get them into the dog food supply.

  33. question says:

    Donkey advocates? What kind of ass is a donkey advocate? lol

    1. David Axelrod says:

      An Obama voter….

  34. the truth says:

    The Humane Society directly kills more animals than any group in this country. Look it up, they are a radical pack of far left liars and greedy fundraisers. They are not you fathers humane society. They are dangerous.

    1. Abdul PW Wolfe says:

      I think you mean PETA. Look it up.

      1. Sarah Twining says:

        PETA and HSUS are both corrupt but HSUS is far worse. To learn more, read “The Indictment of Wayne Pacelle” by animal welfare leader and award winning author Nathan Winograd.

  35. Midge Martin says:

    1. Midge Martin says:

      Saving the ecosystem is just another excuse to control people, take their money and kill whatever they want. Government is the real threat as it is composed of mental deficient morons that make degenerates look good.

  36. zane says:

    Obviously most who are complaining about this have never been to Big Bend. it’s not exactly a green lush valley, people. Think Grand Canyon only drier.

    The donkeys are going to stave to death but that is what I am sure the greenweenies want so they can do sit-ins and protest and demand that we spend tax dollars feeding the starving donkeys.

    Now, if anyone is willing to donate to the TPWD to pay people to round up the donkeys and move them to Los Angeles, have at it, but unless you are willing to support a donkey, don’t complain when they are over populated, starving and have to be eliminated.

  37. BadPenny says:

    Oh Lordy get the popcorn ready! Let the battle begin…..The tree hugging evirowacko take on the animal hugging petawackos! What’s a liberal to do….who is going to tell the what side to get on? Oh this is gonna be good…..ROFLMAO!

  38. boycott says:


    RCP censors comments inconsistently and without explanation, yet provides polling data from their comments which is used to indicate front runners by other media outlets. Do not give them hits. Avoid linking to their website and do not comment on their stories. You are being used dishonestly by the media.

  39. fgfgfggffgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgdfgfgfgfgfgfgfgffgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfgfggffg says:

    nice try drudge, but really who cares?

  40. paseodelnorte says:

    Anybody got a recipe for donkey?

    1. John Galt says:

      Take 51% of the population on some form of assistance, add 12 years (or less) of public education, stir in a pinch of wealth envy, add one dose of liberal news media and a dash of American Idol, fold in decades of failed liberal policy and simmer with unemployment. Voilà: Your donkey is done.

  41. Concerned Mom of 5 says:

    Why focus on these defenseless animals when the jack@ss in the White House is an even greater threat to our ecosystem. Build the pipeline to the gulf. Walk away from Arab sevitude.

  42. David Axelrod says:

    Where are the PETA bimbos when we need em?

  43. BBUB says:


  44. Abdul PW Wolfe says:

    Has anyone asked Shrek for his opinion?

  45. John Galt says:

    Might I suggest the following book: “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your LIfe and What you Can Do to Stop Them” by Steve Milloy, Founder and publisher of

  46. BIG B says:


  47. Patrick Middleton says:

    The only reason the State of Texas wants those animals out of there is because recently (early 2011) a herd of desert bighorn sheep were transplanted there. The hope is that they will become a breeding population. The donkeys are seen as a threat to the desert bighorn sheep food supply.

  48. Zjak says:

    boom boom boom, let me hear you saw hee-haw….hee-haw

  49. psadie says:

    OK, so we have PETA vs. EPA! Who is gonna win?

  50. jTt says:

    It’s barbaric to let another living thing suffer like that. The decision makers should be fired. How is 1 donkey per 1000 acres a threat to the ecosystem?!? Please.

  51. Joe says:

    Under animal cruelty laws, shooting the poor animal in the body and leaving it to die without dispatching it properly is a felony. Whoever authorized this and those who carry it out need to be brought up on criminal charges. Any citizen can do this. We must bring these stupid bureaucrats to justice and make them accountable.

  52. TexasForever says:

    There is an overabundance of nitwits in Austin and in Washington can we eliminate them in the same fashion?

  53. JW Flores says:

    Typical redneck heartless bloodthirsty inhuman Texas for you these days.
    I was borni in texas but glad to be in New Mexico now. Those people are getting crazy over there.

  54. Maude Oliver says:

    I think every one who is opposed to the donkey reduction should offer to take one and give it protection in their backyard. Animal impact is a real issue and as we get more populated management issues will increase. I don’t know if the killing of the donkeys is right or wrong, but I do know that many of the people who are complaining have seen what happens on a poorly managed piece of ground. Imagine all of these donkeys in your city park.

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