Chinese community officers ‘beat stray dogs to death to prevent them from spreading coronavirus’ 

A group of Chinese community officers have been accused of beating stray dogs to death in broad daylight in the name of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus which has killed 1,018 people.

In a video supplied to MailOnline by animal lovers, one worker can be seen repeatedly hitting a pooch with a huge wooden club.

The horrifying incident took place this morning at a residential complex in the city of Nanchong in Sichuan Province, according to activists.

Two stray dogs were killed at around 9am near Wenfeng Road, Nanchong Stray Animal Rescue said.

MailOnline has decided not to show the footage of the attack due to its graphic nature.

A separate clip shows workers taking away the dogs’ dead bodies after killing them.

The group told MailOnline that residents of the complex, Guibi Garden, were informed yesterday by the community officers that no pet dogs would be allowed outside.

‘As long as [we]see a dog in the complex, no matter if it is on the lead or not, we will beat it to death,’ the officers were quoted saying.

The group condemned the officers’ ‘atrocious’ act.

‘At the crucial point of fighting the epidemic, the management office and community officers should have disinfected the neighbourhood, recorded information of visitors, supervised suspected patients under quarantine, or even given care to the psychological stress and trauma residents got from the epidemic.

‘But instead, [they]ignored citizens’s love and appeal for animals and killed lives at will without giving notice or seeking permission.’

Nanchong Stray Animal Rescue demanded relevant officers halt their act immediately.

‘Before the matter escalates, please stop the atrocity of harming animals,’ it wrote on its official account on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter.

One volunteer from the group told MailOnline that it was hard for him and other animal lovers to get to the scene in a timely fashion because the residential complex would not let outsiders enter easily during the outbreak.

He said the two dogs had been healthy and obedient, and that kind residents had fed them an hour before the incident.

The volunteer also showed MailOnline a notice issued by local authorities in response to the matter.

Officials of Nanhu Committee, which supervised the complex, denied online allegations.

They claimed that the video showed the workers culling a stray dog which had bitten some residents and caused panic in the community.

The statement thanked netizens’ understanding and said the workers in question had been reprimanded for killing the animal. It stated that the dog should have been taken to a shelter instead.

The news comes after communities around the country allegedly ordered citizens to get rid of their pets – or risk having them culled – amid fears that animals could also pick up the deadly disease.

World Health Organization (WHO), however, says that it has not seen any evidence of the virus being passed onto cats or dogs.

The widespread fears were sparked by comments made by one of China’s top experts for infectious diseases.

Prof. Li Lanjuan, a member of the senior expert team from China’s National Health Commission, last month warned that pets would also need to be quarantined should they be exposed to coronavirus patients.

Authorities in China are now trying desperately to stop people from throwing away their pets.

Animal welfare organisation Humane Society International (HSI) condemned the Chinese workers’ behaviour.

HSI’s spokesperson Wendy Higgins said: ‘Any evidence of animals being beaten to death in the street is extremely distressing, no matter what the circumstances.

‘If these videos do indeed show dogs being brutally killed in China out of an unwarranted fear of spreading coronavirus, then it is doubly upsetting.

‘Community officers should be charged with disseminating accurate and scientifically supported information to the public at this time, not in carrying out cruel and pointless culls of dogs.

‘The advice by the World Health Organisation that there is no evidence dogs and cats can be infected with the virus, needs to be heard throughout China.’

Apart from the coronavirus, the city of Nanchong is also fighting bird flu.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Sunday reported that 1,840 out of the 2,497 domesticated birds on a farm in Xichong County were killed by the H5N6 strain of avian influenza.

Local authorities culled 2,261 birds as a result and safely disposed their carcasses – as well as those of the birds killed by the influenza – according to the notice.

The Ministry did not specify on which day the outbreak happened.

The coronavirus epidemic has so far claimed more than 1,018 lives and infected more than 43,130 people in 28 countries and territories around the world – but nearly 99 per cent of infections have been in China.

A total of 103 people died in a single day in China’s Hubei province on Monday – the highest toll recorded in any one 24-hour period since the outbreak began in December.

It comes the same day as WHO experts and scientists have finally arrived in China to help officials there contain and study the outbreak which has now struck at least 42,729 people worldwide.

Chinese community officers ‘beat stray dogs to death to prevent them from spreading coronavirus’ 

Picture Rocks woman is charged with felony in trapping, killing of neighbors’ dog

An off-duty animal control officer who admitted to shooting and killing her neighbors’ dog at her Picture Rocks home in October has been charged with a felony.

Marilyn Hendrickson, 27, was arraigned in Pima County Superior Court on Wednesday after she was indicted earlier this month on one count of killing a domestic animal without consent, a fifth-degree felony. A judge entered a plea of not guilty on Hendrickson’s behalf.

The Arizona Daily Star reported in early November that Hendrickson, an animal control officer for Marana, trapped and killed the dog, Buddy, days earlier after a monthslong dispute involving her neighbors, Tiffany and Justin Bara, and her former employer, the Pima Animal Care Center.

A criminal case was investigated by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

Hendrickson told the Star that she carried out her actions out of desperation after months of what she perceived as inaction by PACC officers.

Records show she called PACC at least five times after more than a dozen of her chickens were killed and her goats were attacked — and blamed her neighbors. She told the Star she installed surveillance cameras and caught a dog on video attacking her goats.

A Marana spokeswoman told the Star in December that Hendrickson was no longer employed by the town.

Both Hendrickson and the Baras said they discussed the incident, but talks about replacing the chickens fell through. Tiffany Bara acknowledged her three dogs would escape from the yard, despite efforts to patch their fence, pack holes they dug and block the fencing with a kennel. Court records show the Baras were also charged with multiple counts of violating leash laws, dogs chasing livestock and for the dogs biting animals.

After the incident, Kristen Hassen, PACC director of animal services, stressed her officers always responded and did everything they could when Hendrickson called and that they would have done so again if Hendrickson had kept Buddy in the trap. She called the incident tragic and avoidable.

Hendrickson was booked into the Pima County jail on Wednesday. She is scheduled to appear in court next on March 16.

Hundreds of koalas brutally massacred during routine logging in Victoria, says Animals Australia

https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/hundreds-of-koalas-brutally-massacred-during-routine-logging-in-victoria/news-story/d4078cd7400f00fef44cc8a22594ab10

Heartbreaking images of a brutal koala “massacre” have surfaced – and their deaths have nothing to do with the fires. WARNING: Graphic

Adrianna Zappavigna
news.com.auFEBRUARY 2, 20208:18PM

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Hundreds of koalas have reportedly been killed in Victoria this week, with heartbreaking images surfacing online, after logging 12km west of Portland.

Animals Australia has shared heartbreaking images of injured and dead koalas – now a threatened species after one of Australia’s most damaging bushfire seasons on record – from a razed bluegum plantation.

“Koalas are having their homes mowed down,” said Animals Australia.

“On becoming aware of this situation on Friday, we flew in a veterinary team,” Animals Australia confirmed on Sunday morning.

“With the support of local authorities and wildlife carers, vets are seeking to save as many of these precious animals as possible.”

RELATED: ‘The koala desperately needs our help’

RELATED: Have bushfires rendered koalas ‘functionally extinct’?

The details of this case are still unknown, Animals Australia confirmed on Sunday.

“We are still gathering the details as to what has occurred in this case but it would appear that there are various breaches of legislation, including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which we will be supporting authorities to pursue,” they said on social media.

“By law, the companies that own these plantations must provide koala ‘spotters’ to identify koalas in trees before logging commences, so that animals can be safely removed and relocated.

“There is also a legal responsibility to ensure the welfare of koalas after logging has ceased.”

It’s assumed that in the wake of recent habitat destruction due to bushfires, many koalas sought refuge on commercial property. “The logging of these forests then destroys precious habitat,” shared Animals Australia.

Wildlife Victoria CEO Dr Megan Davidson said it was impossible to understand how the logging could happen if koalas were in them.

“In these tragic cases, we are so sad not only for the animals, but also for the wildlife carers and vets who are on the ground dealing with the horrors of dead, broken, sick and orphaned animals,” Davidson said.

Dead koalas were spotted after the logging took place. Picture: Twitter – @AnimalsAus

Dead koalas were spotted after the logging took place. Picture: Twitter – @AnimalsAusSource:Twitter

The logging took place on a plantation in Victoria, 12-14km west of Portland. Picture: Twitter – @AnimalsAus

The logging took place on a plantation in Victoria, 12-14km west of Portland. Picture: Twitter – @AnimalsAusSource:Twitter

It's unclear how many koalas were killed during the logging. Picture: Friends of the Earth Australia.

It’s unclear how many koalas were killed during the logging. Picture: Friends of the Earth Australia.Source:Twitter

Devastated social media users were quick to share posts, tagging local and national MPs while trying to raise awareness.

“This is murder,” wrote one user on social media, sharing pictures of koalas crushed under the weight of felled trees.

“I thought burned koalas was bad enough,” wrote another.

One user added, “This is too much. Please ensure those responsible are held accountable for this unconscionable act. The cruelty of human beings apparently has no limits.”

“Here’s a thought,” shared Animals Australia. “How about instead of planting plantations then mowing them down, we should be planting blue gum and leaving them for koalas to live in.”

Facebook post by registered nurse Helen Oakley has already garnered 1100 reactions in the last 24 hours, as she films herself walking through the razed plantation.

“They’ve bulldozed 140 acres down and just killed all of our koalas,” she struggles to say through tears.

“There’s koalas lying there dead. Mothers killed and only little babies … Australia should be ashamed of this.”

Helen Oakley's emotional video has been shared over 4000 times. Picture: Facebook.

Helen Oakley’s emotional video has been shared over 4000 times. Picture: Facebook.Source:Facebook

The gruesome images have ignited calls for change at a national level, with a Change.org petition already up and running.

“This barbaric practice needs to stop across the state and immediately,” the petition – directed to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews – reads.

According to the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) there are less than 100,000 koalas left in the wild and the population could be in fact as low as 43,000.

If Australia’s koala population falls below 50,000 it would be “functionally extinct”, the AKF said.

Urge Ridgeland, Wisconsin Officials to Stop Cruel Chicken Toss

Chicken being tossed from the roof of a building into a crowd of people.

https://upc-online.org/entertainment/200107_urge_ridgeland_wisconsin_officials_to_stop_cruel_chicken_toss.html

From: Letter to Dunn County Officials, Ridgeland, Wisconsin

“The chickens being subjected to this extremely stressful and terrifying situation are not enjoying themselves. Such events teach children and others that it’s acceptable to use animals for any human purpose, regardless of how trivial and cruel. Our society needs to foster respect for the other creatures with whom we share this planet. The ‘chicken toss’ is antithetical to that aspiration. I urge you to use your influence to discontinue this use of animals that is unquestionably inhumane.”
– Nedim C. Buyukmihci, VMD, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Jan. 24, 2019.

United Poultry Concerns is joining Wisconsin-based Alliance for Animals and In Defense of Animals again this year in politely urging the village of Ridgeland in Dunn County, Wisconsin to cancel the “Chicken Toss” in February, most likely Saturday, Feb. 15, since it is always held on Saturday in mid-February.

The chicken toss consists of throwing many chickens, one or two at a time, up in the air from a roof. Crowds scramble to grab the birds as they fall to the ground. The chickens huddle together, freezing and fearful, in crates and bags, waiting to be thrown by participants who consider this cruel activity fun.

There is no similarity between a chicken being pulled from a container and thrown roughly up in the air from a roof in the midst of a screaming mob, and a chicken fluttering voluntarily to the ground from a perch in a quiet place.

Feb. 16, 2019 “Chicken Toss” Report

“Today, for the second year in a row, we drove up to the Ridgeland, WI Pioneer Days event. The big attraction is throwing sick, frostbitten, terrified chickens off of a roof into a sea of drunk, crazed and violent humans. The community bills this event as a family friendly traditional chicken ‘fly.’ As if all of these birds are willing participants for the amusement and delight of the children and their doting parents. Many activists came out this year from all over the Midwest and collectively we were able to rescue 29 of these abused but wonderful birds. Some are already on their way to good homes, or to the vet. We are working on finding homes for some of the others and many will stay here with us at Farm Bird Sanctuary.”
– Todd Wilson, Alliance for Animals

 

Ridgeland residents grabbing a chicken that was tossed into a crowd

Ridgeland residents grabbing a chicken that was tossed into a crowd

Ridgeland residents grabbing a chicken that was tossed into a crowd

Ridgeland residents grabbing a chicken that was tossed into a crowd

 

What Can I Do?

Please call these Dunn County officials, and politely urge them to prohibit the “chicken toss” this year. Whether you reach a live person or a recording, leave a brief, clear, and respectful message expressing your concern for the chickens: their fear and possible injury and the frigid weather.

 

See also: UPC letter to Dunn County, WI officials, Jan. 7, 2020

Thank you for taking action for these birds.
– United Poultry Concerns

Repeal North Carolina’s ‘Be Cruel To Opossums’ Law

 

Change.org
Jim — You may be familiar with the famous New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City. But every New Year’s Eve, the city of Andrew, North Carolina captures a terrified possum and drops it from a roof while onlookers cheer. Opossums are shy, nocturnal animals. They keep both people and their gardens safe by eating harmful ticks. The North Carolina State House of Representatives has even cosigned this annual “possum drop” by suspending wildlife laws between December 29 and January 2. A group of animal lovers is asking for this law to be repealed. They and the opossums need your help to stop this cruel tradition today.
Animal Help Now started this petition to North Carolina General Assembly Members and it now has 148,711 signatures

End State-Sanctioned Opossum Abuse in North Carolina

Several years ago, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a statute that allows opossums to be abused for five days surrounding the New Year, all for the purpose of entertainment at a New Year’s Eve “Possum Drop.” A majority of General Assembly members approved House Bill 574 (2015) without granting the public the right to comment on it.

North Carolina General Statute § 113-291.13 Application of wildlife laws to opossums reads, “No State or local statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances related to the capture, captivity, treatment, or release of wildlife shall apply to the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) between the dates of December 29 of each year and January 2 of each subsequent year.”

The statute goes beyond allowing “possum drops” in the state; it allows anyone in North Carolina to legally abuse opossums. Gaining increasing national attention, the statute is an embarrassment to its residents and jeopardizes the state’s tourism industry.

The entertainment of a few hundred people for a couple of hours is inadequate justification for stripping the benign and beneficial opossum of all protections afforded by state and local laws that have been in place for decades. The potential for cruel treatment of opossums is limitless and unethical. North Carolina must repeal the statute.

Millie, the opossum used in the 2018 Andrews, NC “drop,” was taken from her home in the wild. During her capture, she suffered a serious leg injury that became so infected, it could be smelled from a distance during the New Year’s Eve event. Millie dangled in a plexiglass box above a noisy crowd, band and fireworks. This stress is enough to cause serious illnesses among shy, gentle animals such as opossums. For a few hours of entertainment, Millie was tormented and eventually had to have her leg amputated. The disability is so severe that she can never go home. This can never happen again.

We, the undersigned, call on the otherwise intelligent and compassionate North Carolina General Assembly members to sponsor a bill in the 2019 Session to repeal N.C.G.S. § 113-291.13 (2015).

Live Reindeer at Santa’s grottos could be banned next year as stress leaves animals with misshapen antlers and high mortality rates

Live Reindeer at Santa's grottos could be banned next year as stress leaves animals with misshapen antlers and high mortality ratesImage: Victor Maschek / Shutterstock.com

Animal rights groups are aiming to ban the use of live reindeer at Christmas grottos due to concerns for the wellbeing of the animals. 

A campaign led by the RSPCA explains that reindeer feel anxious and stressed at Christmas grottos where they are kept in small pens.

The stress experienced by reindeer then leads to health problems such as misshapen antlers, low fertility and high calf mortality, the animal welfare group explained.

The RSPCA is calling for the Government to introduce a ban next year, meaning this year could be the last that reindeer feature at Christmas grottos.

The group estimates that 1,500 reindeer are used at attractions in the UK – often at shopping centres and Christmas markets.

Dr Ros Clubb, senior scientific manager at the RSPCA, said in a statement: “We understand that it must seem magical for people to see a reindeer at Christmas, but the reality is reindeer are not easy to keep well and need specialised care, they get stressed very easily and are very susceptible to many health and welfare problems.

“In the wild they are prey animals so they naturally hide their illnesses, and we’re concerned many owners may not realise their reindeer, which are attending stressful, busy festive events, are poorly or may not be able to spot the problems until it is too late.”

Fellow animal welfare group PETA has backed the campaign.

Director Elisa Allen added: “What could ruin the magic of the season more than seeing stressed animals confined to cramped pens, tied up, or harnessed and forced to pull people around on sleighs?

“Reindeer are intelligent, gentle animals who are meant to roam free over vast ranges – not be carted up and down the country as if they were mere props to be paraded about and gawked at under in busy shopping centres.”

Opossum caught in illegal trap on road to recovery

BLAIRSTOWN – Rescued from a rusty and banned steel-jaw leghold trap in Paterson, though the past for “Luna” – a female opossum – was painful, her present and future are looking bright, thanks to help from the Wild Baby Rescue Center.

Luna was one of two animals freed from traps by an anonymous rescuer – the other a cat – with one of Luna’s front paws caught and mangled in the trap. Graphic photos supplied to the New Jersey Herald of both animals show Luna and the cat – with a rear leg caught – trapped in the leghold devices, their mouths open in the images. A third trap near the cat contained the skeletal remains of an unknown animal.

The rescuer, who risked their own safety, spent about an hour to extricate the young opossum and took it to the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital for care. It is estimated the animal was caught in the trap for approximately 24 hours before the rescuer spotted her.

According to Caryn Shinske, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the use and possession of steel-jaw leghold traps has been prohibited in the state since 1984. Shinske also said those who are engaged in trapping must be licensed through the DEP’s Division of Fish & Wildlife.

Shinske said Wednesday Igor Bulic, 61, of New York City, was charged in Luna’s case with three counts of unauthorized use of the traps and three counts of not having the traps properly labeled. The charges will be heard in Paterson Municipal Court. Shinske said the matter involving the trapped cat has been turned over to Paterson’s municipal humane police officer.

The opossum, who is approximately one year of age, was taken to the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital, a facility that provides care to injured and orphaned wildlife, where she was treated before being transported to the Wild Baby Rescue Center – a facility that provides wildlife rehabilitation.

The rescue center is a not-for-profit facility, run by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Hope Kosch-Davison, according to the center’s website. More than 6,900 wild animals have been cared for at the center since 2004.

Davison said Luna, a name which means “moon” in Italian – a name she chose because the opossum is “magical,” has made progress in her rehabilitation. She is no longer in pain and was weaned from her pain medications. Her stitches were slowly removed, her amputation wound is healing well and she walks with a hobble. Luna is also gaining weight and enjoys eating both chicken and yogurt.

As Luna heals, an injured male opossum “Neville,” has joined the rescue center. His jaw was fractured and one of his eyes lost after he was hit by a car at the end of October. Davison said Neville’s recovery will be lengthy as his jaw heals, but he cannot be released until the spring.

“He (Neville) would not survive the winter with his food sources outside frozen,” said Davison.

Until then, Neville will enjoy life from the comfort and warmth of the rescue, with scrambled eggs, yogurt, applesauce, warm formula and other soft nourishment to allow his jaw to heal, Davison said.

Because of the damage to Luna’s leg, Davison is not certain if she can be released back into the wild, but said it is possible she could become an education animal.

“Enrichment is a big part of what we do here,” said Davison.

Teaching adults and children about the opossum species, which many do not know has a prehensile tail and is a marsupial or pouched animal, is part of the animal’s appeal. Davison said opossums are also beneficial in that they are known to eat ticks.

“She can be an ambassador for her species,” said Davison.

For more information about the Wild Baby Rescue Center visit: www.wildbabyrescue.org/

Student Activists Raise Awareness About Cruel Canada Goose Practices

The Cornell Vegan Society demonstrated on Ho Plaza to bring awareness to the animal cruelty involved in producing Canada Goose products.

Courtesy of Isabel Lu

The Cornell Vegan Society demonstrated on Ho Plaza to bring awareness to the animal cruelty involved in producing Canada Goose products.

18 hours ago

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On Ho Plaza, Lucy Contreras ’21 defiantly faced the Thursday afternoon passersby with the words “Fur Kills” painted across her abdomen and an apparently blood-drenched Canada Goose jacket wrapped around her body.

The blood was fake, as was the jacket — an imitation with a “Canada Douche” sticker where one would normally find the coat’s iconic sleeve patch.

Contreras, who is a Sun opinion columnist, and her fellow demonstrators aimed to raise awareness about the animal cruelty involved in making the products of the ubiquitous winter-time brand. The coats use goose feathers, most commonly obtained by plucking live geese without any painkillers, and leaving open wounds before they are killed, according to Contreras, president of Cornell Vegan Society and Sun opinion columnist.

The detachable fur trim around the hood of the coat is made of coyote fur, Contreras said. This fur is obtained by capturing wild coyotes in steel traps, where they are often left to agonize for days — suffering from gangrene, dehydration, or attacked by other predators before the trapper returns, according to PETA. If still alive at this point, they are bludgeoned, stomped, or strangled to death, said Contreras.

The demonstrators hoped that those who currently own Canada Goose products never buy from them again and donate the detachable coyote-fur trim of their coats. Several organizations, including PETA and the Wildlife Rescue League, accept donations of furs and redistribute them to rehabilitating animals in shelters or homeless people.

And for those who don’t own Canada Goose products, the demonstrators want them to consider animal cruelty when they buy products such as coats, pillows and comforters.

Chloe Cabrera grad, a participant in the demonstration, called for people to make more responsible consumer choices.

“Each Canada Goose jacket requires seven birds and two coyotes. That’s nine animals dying for virtually no reason, for an overpriced coat that works just as well as any vegan coat,” Cabrera said.

Ultimately, Contreras said, geese and coyotes suffer and die on behalf of the market demand for Canada Goose.

The demonstration was “eye-opening,” Paul Agbaje ’22 said after speaking with a protester.

“No matter how you feel about it, people seem to just mindlessly buy these Canada Goose jackets, without ever considering the ethical implications,” he said.

Other onlookers were less keen, making hostile comments about the demonstration as they walked by.

Contreras is understanding of negative responses like these. “I feel like this shame and this frustration is the beginning of a process of acceptance and of actually taking action against Canada Goose,” she said.

“We’re not blaming them,” Contreras said. “We just want them to know, in the future, to buy jackets that don’t have down or fur.”

Contreras declared the demonstration a success, describing it as one step towards a better public understanding of the relationship between everyday expenditures and animal exploitation.

She encourages friends and peers of Canada Goose wearers to engage them in dialogue. On campus, conversations about ethical consumption are on the rise — Cornell Vegan Society has risen from just a handful of members twoyears ago to about twenty five today, according to Contreras.

She wants them to know that, “with that social status, you are hurting a lot of beings in the process. And it’s not worth it.”

Student Activists Raise Awareness About Cruel Canada Goose Practices

Five bears killed after coming too close to elementary school in Penticton, B.C.

Animals drew dozens of complaints since the summer, says conservation officer

These five bears travelled together in a pack in the Okanagan city of Penticton, B.C., before being put down by conservation officers on Thursday. (Submitted by Tobe Sprado/Conservation Officer Service)
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Five bears were destroyed by conservation officers in Penticton, B.C., Thursday after the group ventured too close to an elementary school.

Tobe Sprado, an inspector for the Okanagan region with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, says the service has received 44 complaints about these particular bears since August.

“We were hoping that we’re going to be able to coexist with these bears,” Sprado said. “But things had escalated over that period of time.”

Sprado said the bears were attracted to garbage and fruit, and were starting to cause property damage.

On Wednesday afternoon, things escalated after one of the bears charged a person out walking.

“That [was] an aggressive behaviour that definitely put these bears more on our radar,” Sprado said.

“Then when they entered into the vicinity of the elementary school, we ended up making the decision to put down all five bears.”

The children and teachers were kept inside until the bears were shot dead.

Bears can cause problems in towns and cities as they look for food to eat before winter hibernation. (Submitted by Rachel Rowbottom)

Unusual grouping

Sprado said the bears would travel together in a pack, unusual for black bears. The group comprised three adult male bears and two females who were sub-adults.

“It wasn’t your typical sow with the cubs at all … [it’s] a bit of an anomaly from what we’re used to dealing with,” he said. “They could be a bunch of siblings.”

Sprado said his team was emotionally drained and frustrated by the turn of events.

It comes a little over a week after six bears were shot in the space of three days in the area of Lake Okanagan Resort northwest of Kelowna. In that case, the bears were eating garbage that hadn’t properly been secured and had lost their fear of humans.

An undisclosed company near Kelowna was fined $230 and ordered to improve the way it stores its garbage.

Sprado implored people to safely secure bear attractants like garbage, fruit, as well as pet food, bird feeders, barbecues and compost.

More than 40 wild burros slaughtered in the Southern California desert; reward offered

Wild burros on a dry lake bed in the Silurian Valley in October 2014. Since May 2019, a total of 42 wild burro carcasses with gunshot wounds have been found along the Interstate 15 corridor between Halloran Springs, Calif., and Primm, Nev., in various states of decomposition.

Wild burros on a dry lake bed in the Silurian Valley in October 2014. Since May 2019, a total of 42 wild burro carcasses with gunshot wounds have been found along Interstate 15 near the California-Nevada state line.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

More than 40 wild burros have been found shot and killed along the Interstate 15 near the Nevada state line, Federal officials said on Friday, and they’ve offered a reward of up to $18,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

It is one of the largest killings of its kind on public land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Southern California, officials said.

A total of 42 wild burro carcasses with gunshot wounds have been found in various states of decomposition near the freeway corridor through the Clark Mountain Herd Area managed by the Needles field office of the BLM.

“We will pursue every lead until we’ve arrested and prosecuted those responsible for these cruel, savage deaths,” said William Perry Pendley, the BLM’s Deputy Director for policy and programs, “and we welcome the public’s help to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice.”

Details about the ongoing investigation were scarce. However, BLM officials said the burros, including several juveniles, were shot in the neck with a rifle.

Some were brought down while drinking water in the Halloran Springs area.

Animal protection organizations said they were outraged by the slaughter and have contributed thousands of dollars to the reward.

“It’s a travesty that these animals would be gunned down,” said Grace Kuhn, spokeswoman for the nonprofit American Wild Horse Campaign. “There’ve been isolated incidents before over the years, but nothing on this scale in memory.”

Neda DeMayo, president of the nonprofit Return to Freedom, said, “I’ve been told that at least one of the burros was still alive when it was discovered by a passerby. But it succumbed to its injuries by the time BLM investigators arrived on the scene.”

“It’s all so unbelievable,” she added. “Crazy. Hostile. Cruel.”

Burros are not native to the West’s deserts, but they became some its most valued resources: sure-footed in rugged terrain, capable of carrying heavy loads long distances, and withstanding extremes in temperatures of cold and heat.

In the 1920s and 30s, they were turned loose and replaced by Model-A Fords and other vehicles. Since then, they have multiplied without restraint with few predators to check their numbers.

With populations that doubled every four to five years, they’ve managed to survive by feeding on the sage and wild growth of the Mojave Desert.

By the 1950s, wanton slaughter of wild burros in California’s desert and mountains had reached such proportions that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals pressed for legislation to protect the creatures from trigger-happy hunters.

One killing ground was Homewood Canyon, near Trona, about 240 miles northeast of Los Angeles, where the SPCA officials in 1953 reported a shocking scene: Over an area of 50 acres, they found 50 burro carcasses. Only a few had bullet holes in the head, indicating that most had been left wounded where they fell.

Today, the animals are protected from capture, branding, harassment or death under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which considers them an integral part of the natural system of public lands managed by the BLM.

Violations of the act are subject to a fine of up to $2,000, or imprisonment for up to one year, or both, for each count charged.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the WeTip hotline at (800) 782-7463 or visit http://wetip.com.