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Local residents take home wild horses and burros from BLM auction

Wild Burros at the BLM auction
Shelly Womack
Wild Burros at the BLM auction.

The Bureau of Land Management auctioned off 120 wild horses and burros at the Taylor County Expo Center last weekend.

The animals come from the Bureau of Land Management public land in western states and are put up for adoption to keep a healthy, uncrowded population, according to Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Crystal Cowan, "We are overcrowded out west. It’s natural for an animal to have a baby every year and if we did nothing to curve the numbers, we would double in numbers every four years and triple in six years and so, we have room for 26,000 and we have around 80,000. So it's important that we gather off a certain number each year.”

Cowan says she loves learning the stories of those adopting every year. People have adopted these animals for herd protection and to ride. Baird resident Tonya Gulley returned to the auction after adopting four wild burros, known as jennies, a couple of years ago. Two jennies stayed wild and help protect her friends' herds. Gulley says her grandchildren help her spoil the other two, Georgia and Peach, "I want to incorporate them in, they're just unique. Every donkey's personality is different and I think every kid should have the opportunity to be blessed with the donkey to learn patience.”

Gulley says she enjoys adopting from this program because it gives great homes to the animals and keeps the wild population running free and healthy with enough resources to go around.