Wild Burros Inadvertently Save Life Of Hiker Lost In Death Valley National Park

Posted on National Parks Traveler

“The burros have never had it easy with our government agencies…”

A group of feral burros inadvertently saved the life of a hiker lost in Death Valley National Park by leading him to water.

A group of burros, like this one near the Wild Rose area of Death Valley, helped a lost hiker stay alive in the park's backcountry/NPS file photo.

A group of burros, like this one near the Wild Rose area of Death Valley, helped a lost hiker stay alive in the park’s backcountry/NPS file photo.

Park officials said the unidentified man set out for a hike on May 5 at Saline Valley Dunes, an area in the northwestern corner of the park that you need a four-wheel-drive rig to reach. Four days later, rangers received word that a white pickup truck had been parked there for several days.

“Rangers searched the area on Sunday but were unable to locate anyone associated with the truck. Through investigation, they determined that it had been rented by a single person and had not been returned by the rental contract’s termination date,” noted District Ranger J.D. Updegraff. “On Monday, the Beverly Hills Police Department checked at the man’s home and confirmed that he was overdue and a search was begun.”

This past Tuesday, around 10 a.m., the man was found roughly five miles from his vehicle and to the east of the dune complex.

“The man reportedly set out alone for a day hike on the morning of Tuesday, May 5th, and became disoriented. Unable to find his way back to his vehicle, he followed a group of burros to a watering hole where he subsisted until rescue arrived,” the district ranger reported. “The man was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital where he is being treated for second degree sunburn and a rhabdomyolysis,” a disease in which muscles breakdown.

Memorial Day: Horses of War

by and published on Horse Nation

“As a person who has enjoyed the company of many horses over the years, I thank heaven that I have never had to take one to war.” ~ General Sir Frank Kitson

The first records of horses used in warfare date to Eurasia between 4000 and 3000 BC.  This Sumerian illustration, dated from 2500 BC, depicts horses pulling wagons.

The earliest written training manual for war horses was a guide for training chariot horses written at approximately 1350 BC followed by a guide to training riding horses in 360BC, written by Greek cavalry officer Xenophon.

Muslims, Knights of the Crusades, Japanese Samurai, American Indian tribes, such as the Comanche, and Civil War soldiers all used the horse as a powerful weapon of war.

A few of the more interesting facts I discovered were “that stallions were often used as destriers due to their natural aggression.  However, there may have been some use of mares by European warriors, and mares, who were quieter and less likely to call out and betray their position to the enemy, were the preferred war horse of the Moors, who invaded various parts of Southern Europe from 700 AD through the 15th century.  Geldings were used in war by the Teutonic Knights, and known as monk horses.  One advantage was if captured by the enemy, they could not be used to improve local bloodstock, thus maintaining the Knights’ superiority in horseflesh.” – WIKIPEDIA

At the turn of the twentieth century during WWI, millions of horses were sent to the war front.

Still, horses were struggling to find their place in modern warfare.  Trenches, barbed wire, machine guns and finally tanks, introduced in 1917, would render cavalry almost useless.  No longer a glorious mount for a soldier, the horses were reduced to pack animals, hauling millions of pounds of ammunition, guns and supplies to the front.

“Horses were easier targets than men, and you could do more damage to the enemy’s supply lines if you hit the horses,” says Simon Butler, author of War Horses.  Still, without working railroads, horses were the only transport for heavy equipment, men and supplies.  8 million of these silent, tireless heroes would not survive the war.  “Of the one million horses which left Britain for the Western Front,  just 60,000 returned,” reports DailyMail UK.

Horse FlagIt was the role as pack animal that would make horses crucial in the Second World War.  The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Japanese and American (though to a much lesser degree) forces all used horses and mules extensively as pack animals and for scouting missions.  In fact, George S. Patton wished for more on the front, saying, “Had we possessed an American cavalry division with pack artillery in Tunisia and in Sicily, not a German would have escaped.”

The German army used 2.75 million horses – more than it used in WWI.

The Soviet Union used 3.5 million.

Most if not all of these horses died on the battlefields or were abandoned after the war.

Only recently have these valiant actions begun to be memorialized.

An inscription reads, “THE GREATNESS OF A NATION CONSISTS NOT SO MUCH IN THE NUMBER OF ITS PEOPLE OR IN THE EXTENT OF ITS TERRITORY AS IN THE EXTENT AND JUSTICE OF ITS COMPASSION.”

And yet the fighting is still not over.  A small number of horses are still required for scouting missions and undercover operations even today by multiple countries.  The book, Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton, details how American Special Forces utilized horses extensively during the recent war in Afghanistan.

Remember to honor all the veterans this Memorial Day, four legged or two.

Hug a Horse

14 Donkeys Who Prove They’re Secretly The Cutest Animals

By Audre Az as published on The Dodo

“It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ so please enjoy and keep the faith!”


Often under-appreciated, donkeys may not be the first animal that comes to mind when you’re looking for non-stop cuteness…. Until now. Need something to brighten your day? There’s a donkey for that!

1. This baby donkey rocking an extra-fluffy hairdo.

(Reddit/rockpapercat)

2. This brave guard donkey (and his llama colleague) protecting a flock of sheep from a coyote.

(YouTube/BBCWorldwide)

3. This donkey who likes to cart around his feline friend.

(Reddit/Knickette)

4. This pair of donkey pals just horsin’ around on a beach.

(YouTube/Funny Animals)

5. This dashing donkey who found an extra comfy chin rest.

(Flickr/muffinn)

6. This bold burro with an itch to scratch.

(Facebook/Lavender Dreams Donkey Rescue)

7. This newborn donkey who’s just learning how to scamper.

(YouTube/racheld90)

8. This duo of Greek donkeys sharing a tender moment.

(Flickr/Klearchos Kapoutis)

9. This frisky foal caught in the act mid-frolic.

(Facebook/Muriel Burnadou)

10. This trusty trio proving that three really is company.

(Flickr/B4bees)

11. This marvelous jenny with ears like antennas.

(Flickr/Pete Markham)

12. These super-rare, super-shaggy Poitou donkeys with dreadlocks.

(Facebook/Fermeduchampduparc Asinerie de Ouismes)

13. This mother and foal who totally nailed the family portrait pose.

(Facebook/The Donkey Sanctuary)

14. And finally, to warm your heart, this formerly neglected donkey learning to love again.

(Reddit/pwniess)

Action Alert: Comment on BLM’s Removal Plan for Youngsters from Cloud’s Herd

Information provided by The Cloud Foundation

The BLM is seeking your comments on their proposal to remove “up to 25” young horses from the range starting this year.

Cloud and Encore ~ Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Cloud and Encore – photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom FederationBackground: The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR is a spectacular wilderness but a high percentage of the 39,651 acres is rocky and unproductive for grazing. The herd now exceeds 160 adult horses. Without range expansion which TCF actively pursues, there must be some limited removals to ensure that the range continues to support the herd. There are no livestock on the range. The BLM is seeking your comments on their proposal to remove “up to 25” young horses from the range starting this year.

Because BLM’s email system is inadequate to accept large volumes of correspondence they request that you send a snail mail letter. Please formulate a polite letter in your own words. Here are some points to make:

  • Strongly Encourage BLM to adopt Alternative A, which calls for small, incremental removals as opposed to one large removal. Alternative A comes in response to suggestions made by responders to the Scoping document.
  • Ask that a time limit of three years be placed on these small removals, then assess whether further removals are needed based on the new PZP protocols as well as unpredictable limiting factors (i.e. weather/predation).
  • Remove no more than 6-10 young animals in any one year, so all the horses removed will have the opportunity to find good homes and the fragile genetics of this unique Spanish herd are not placed in jeopardy.
  • Do not eliminate the yearlings from the removal protocol. Yearlings are traditionally the most easily adopted, and adapt more readily to a domestic setting. Spreading the limited removals over mainly the yearling and two-year old quadrants will ensure that no unique animals will be removed and that the horses will be more likely to find homes and successfully adapt to a domestic life.
  • Remove as few three year-old as possible. Many three year-old fillies are settling in to life with their new bands and most three year-old males have become bachelor stallions, honing the skills they will need to one day win a mare. Because of this and their age, three year-olds typically require more time and expertise to gentle and train than most yearlings and two year-olds.
  • Do not remove any young horse that threatens the loss of a genetic line.
  • Do not remove any young horse that threatens the loss of a color. Encore is a low priority based on her sex and color. Mato Ska is the only blaze-faced roan that has ever been born on the Pryor Mountains to our knowledge. Palominos, Blue Roans and Buckskins are rare colors that must be preserved.
  • Please acknowledge that we appreciate being listened to!

Send your letter postmarked by June 6 to:
BLM Billings Field Office
Attn: Jared Bybee
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Mt. 49101-4669

For More Information call Jared Bybee: 406-896-5223
Environmental Assessment.
BLM Press Release
TCF Action Alert on Scoping Notice

Mystery of Hitler’s Missing Horse Statues Solved

Thorak’s “Walking Horses” — standing 16 feet high and 33 feet long — once guarded Hitler’s New Reich Chancellery in Berlin

Model of the Reich Chancellery building, designed by Albert Speer: The bronze statue of “Trabenes Pferd,” or “Trotting Horse,” is by sculptor Josef Thorak. (Heinrich Hoffmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Model of the Reich Chancellery building, designed by Albert Speer: The bronze statue of “Trabenes Pferd,” or “Trotting Horse,” is by sculptor Josef Thorak. (Heinrich Hoffmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Struggling artists often crave official recognition. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts or designation as a poet laureate doesn’t just help financially — government support can help creative types build a career and burnish a reputation.

Unless that government is the Third Reich, and the patron is notorious Nazi Albert Speer, who took a shine to the work of a sculptor named Josef Thorak in Germany before the outbreak of World War II.

“Thorak worked on statues intended to represent the folk-life of Germany under Nazi coordination; these works tended to be heroic in scale, up to 65 feet,” according to Holland’s German Art Gallery. “… Albert Speer referred to Thorak as ‘more or less my sculptor.’”

Now, one of Thorak’s works has been unearthed in a black-market raid. German police discovered two massive bronze Thorak sculptures, dubbed “Walking Horses,” during an investigation targeting eight suspects in an illegal art trafficking ring, Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told the Associated Press. The dealers wanted some $5.6 million for the statues, according to Bild newspaper.

Thorak’s “Walking Horses” — standing 16 feet high and 33 feet long — once guarded Hitler’s New Reich Chancellery in Berlin, planted on either side of the stairs to the building. During World War II, they were relocated and, in the 1950s, popped up on a Red Army barracks’ sports grounds in Eberswalde, a town northeast of Berlin in the communist German Democratic Republic, according to Agence France-Presse. The sculptures showed signs of the battle they had been through, painted gold to mask their bullet holes.

Then when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the horses went missing. Some speculated they were sold by the GDR. Police recently started investigating when they learned someone was attempting to sell them on the black market.

Police raided homes in Berlin, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, seizing several other pieces of Nazi-era art, including a massive granite relief by German sculptor Arno Breker depicting muscled, shirtless fighters wielding swords in what police called “typical Nazi style,” according to BBC News…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story

Wyoming can now put you in jail for sharing nature photos with the government

by Walter Einenkel as published in The Dailey KOS

It’s not just the wild horses targeted by the State of Wyoming now they are taking a shot at YOU!

This shot is actually illegal to take according to new bill.

You can face a $5000.00 fine and up to a year in prison if you share your nature photography with the government, according to a new Wyoming law. The Wyoming Senate just signed Bill 12: Trespassing to collect data (or Date Trespassing Bill). Ostensibly a private property/trespassing law, Bill 12 is incredibly wide-reaching:

The new law is of breathtaking scope. It makes it a crime to “collect resource data” from any “open land,” meaning any land outside of a city or town, whether it’s federal, state, or privately owned. The statute defines the word collect as any method to “preserve information in any form,” including taking a “photograph” so long as the person gathering that information intends to submit it to a federal or state agency. In other words, if you discover an environmental disaster in Wyoming, even one that poses an imminent threat to public health, you’re obliged, according to this law, to keep it to yourself.

As ThinkProgress points out:

“We are deeply concerned that this poorly written and overly vague bill will prevent concerned citizens and students from undertaking valuable research projects on public lands, out of fear of accidentally running afoul of the new law (the scope of which no one clearly understands) and being criminally and civilly prosecuted,” Connie Wilbert, organizing representative for the Sierra Club’s Wyoming chapter, told ThinkProgress. “There is no need for this new bill, and we can only conclude that it is an attempt by private landowners to scare people away from valid research efforts on public land.”One of the most troubling components of the law, according to Pidot, is that it specifically targets data collected to be shared with the government, a focus he calls “anomalous, bizarre, and radical.” Under the statute, a citizen who uncovers an environmental disaster or public health threat — unless they’ve obtained specific permission from the landowner before collecting that data — would themselves be breaking the law by reporting it to the authorities.

The Clean Water Act clearly articulates that citizens should be involved in helping to keep our water clean. What seems to be at work is all of the E. coli bacteria that people keep finding in Wyoming waterways is really inconvenient.

Why the desire for ignorance rather than informed discussion? The reason is pure politics. The source of E. coli is clear. It comes from cows spending too much time in and next to streams. Acknowledging that fact could result in rules requiring ranchers who graze their cows on public lands to better manage their herds. The ranching community in Wyoming wields considerable political power and has no interest in such obligations, so the state is trying to stop the flow of information rather than forthrightly address the problem.

Considering that Wyoming’s right-wing quackery is so intense that the ACLU is closing up shop there, this isn’t that surprising but it’s no less fortunate either. Will they use this law to criminalize nature photography? No. But they are clearly criminalizing whistle-blowing.

Equine Advocate’s Summit a Success

Report by Carol Walker ~ Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“The Summit was packed full of extremely useful information…”

I arrived at Equine Advocates on Friday afternoon, and was warmly welcomed by Susan Wagner, and given a personal tour of the Sanctuary. I got to meet horse, and burros and minis and two mustangs, Nelson and Hayden. All the horses looked very content, and were happy to greet new human visitors.

Equine Advocate’s Education and Welcome Center

The Summit took place in the beautiful Education Center at the Sanctuary, which seats up to 140 but was cozy enough to not feel impersonal. In the morning there were morning treats and juice and coffee for the all the conference participants and speakers who mingled and talked before the conference started.

When it began, Susan Wagner spoke about the Summit Agenda and a desire to keep moving forward. She read a wonderful letter from Gloria Steinem about ending the use of PMU.

The first, keynote speaker was Paula Bacon, the former Mayor of Kaufman, Texas and passionate proponent of ending horse slaughter. She was charming and funny and dedicated to the welfare of the horses.

The second speaker was John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance. His report on horses being shipped to Mexico was extremely detailed and well researched, and gave a detailed picture of what has been happening and the changes that are taking place.

Vicki Burns was next, formerly of the Winnipeg Humane Society, and she gave us insight into the PMU industry in Canada, now moving/moved to China.

We had a wonderful catered vegan lunch outside under the tent where we could enjoy views of the sanctuary as we ate.

After lunch, Dr. Jerilynn Prior, Professor of Endocrinology at the Department of Medicine at the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research gave us the answers we have all been wanting to have handy – what to use instead of Primarin – she says there are many solutions none of which include Premarin, to help women dealing with side effects of menopause.

The emotional end of the day was the first showing of a film“One Day” by Victoria Racimo and TanNa Young about the rescue of the racing mare “Our Mims” and the woman who saved her and started a sanctuary for older race mares.

Day Two began with opening remarks from Karen and Susan Wagner.

Then I (Carol Walker of WHFF) gave my presentation about fighting to save Wyoming’s wild horses which included a slideshow set to music of horses in Adobe Town, the roundup, the holding facilities, and the rescued horses going to Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Then I outlined the BLM’s plans for sterilization studies.

Next Debbie Coffey of WHFF gave a short summary of wild horse issues focusing on the online adoption process, the secret bait trapping and ending giving an update about Cloud.

Loni Stewart, of the Canadian Horse Defense was next with a comprehensive report on Canadian Horse Slaughter today complete with documentation and videos.

The last speaker before lunch was Russ Mead, Esq., General Council for the Animal law Coalition. He gave strategies for making changes in animal welfare, and stories about making a difference on the local, regional and national level.

We had another lovely catered lunch under the tents and this time the sun was out. Summit participants strolled the grounds of the sanctuary and became acquainted with the horses and burros.

After lunch, Holly Cheever, DVM presented about professional equine groups and their support of horse slaughter, and why.

The day ended with Alex Brown showing his new three part series Horses, Sports, Culture and Slaughter.

The Summit was packed full of extremely useful information, and was a wonderful opportunity to network with and talk to experts in many different areas of equine welfare, all with a common goal of improving the lives of horses.

The presentations, with the exclusion of Russ Mead’s, will all be online and available to listen to soon at the Equine Advocates website.

Horses: Sports, Culture, and Slaughter

Video by Alex Brown ~ part one of three

NOTHING GORY. An examination of the horse slaughter issue, in the United States, through the lens of horse sports and horse cultures. A three part series.

Newborn Donkey only 21 INCHES Tall Makes Friends with 5ft 6in Shire Horse

By Ben Wilkinson for the Daily Mail

“‘Feel Good Sunday’ = This Article, nuff said…enjoy!” ~ R.T.


This is the moment a plucky new born donkey rubbed noses with a gigantic shire horse.

The 21in foal – who is little more than a week old – was introduced to powerful Uncle Buster who towered above him at 16.2 hands.

But the Dartmoor pony centre’s newest arrival was not fazed by the attraction’s biggest star who stands at 5ft 6” from the ground to his upper back.

And the little and large meeting saw the brave baby bound towards the gentle giant before running between his legs and sharing an equine kiss.

The young jack – who has not been named yet – is now said to be good friends with his lofty companion and the pair are proving popular with visitors.

A spokesman for the Miniature Pony Centre said the first ever meeting between the gentle shire and the playful young donkey had gone even better than expected.

He said: ‘As we are all one big happy family at The Miniature Pony Centre we thought it was time for him to meet Uncle Buster, our resident shire horse.

28A0B34200000578-3080368-image-a-5_1431539849419‘True to form, our little donkey ran straight up to him to give him a kiss.

‘Buster may be gigantic compared to his little friend but he is the gentle giant of the horse world and gave him a lovely kiss back.’

Buster is one of two heavy horses at the Devon centre and he has lived there for four years.

His little new friend can expect to grow to around 11 hands tall – or 44” from the ground to his upper back.

28A0B3C700000578-3080368-image-a-9_1431539908507The centre spokesman added: ‘They have proved a bit of a star attraction over the last few days. Everyone seems to love the little and large show.

‘They do make an odd pair but they are becoming the best of friends.’

One visitor said: ‘At first I do admit they look like an odd pair. But after watching them for a while now I have to say they are really cute together.

‘You can see the youngster has a lot more energy, but the shire seems to have the patience to deal with him well. He didn’t seem to mind the fuss the little one is making of him.’

The Miniature Pony Centre, on Dartmoor, is home to a range of horses as well as donkeys, chickens and rabbits.

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

By as published in The New Yorker

“This author is clearly attempting to be politically correct by not outing the Pro-Slaughter Cult and BLM but I can easily see right through that ploy, see if you can too.” ~ R.T.


“As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

"If its true and factual, I don't want to hear it!"

“If its true and factual, I don’t want to hear it!”

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.