In arguably the most painfully obvious political allegory in ages, Texas park rangers have been given permission to shoot free-roaming donkeys at Big Bend State Park, in an effort to eradicate the intruding Mexican species, which has been taking away vital resources from native species, according to The AP.
Nearly 130 of the wild burros who wandered over the border have been killed. The Texas Parks and Wildlife estimated Big Bend has about 300 intruding burros, which they claim has been consuming water and food already in limited supply after a prolonged drought.
But local burro lovers claim the state is only protecting the habitat of one species -- the highly valued bighorn sheep. Permits to hunt the once-rare sheep have fetched close to $100,000 at auction.
They say we're doing this just so four rich white guys can hunt bighorn sheep out here, said David Riskind, director of natural resources for the parks agency. That's just not true.
The growing campaign to save the donkeys would be the second time a coalition formed to protect the burros. The last time the state allowed the lethal control of the animal, a growing uproar led the state to suspend the practice in 2007.