Mojave Desert donkeys turning up dead with bullet wounds
Matt Cardy/Getty ImagesNEEDLES, Calif. - Someone is shooting the Mojave Desert's wild burros dead, officials say. Over the last three months, Bureau of Land Management officials have found the bodies of 42 donkeys covered in gunshot wounds near the California-Nevada border. Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, burros are protected as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West." Violating the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act can result in a fine up to $2,000 or up to one year in prison, or both, for each count charged. In the 1950s, both burros and wild horses were hunted by ranchers whose vegetation they munched on, and their populations dipped, according to the American Wild Horse Campaign.