Gun Wielding Texas Governor May Have Shot Self In Foot
Gov. Rick Perry — who’s bragged about gunning down a coyote on a morning jog (to save his daughter’s dog, he said) — is steering clear of a controversy over the shooting of burros in Big Bend Ranch State Park by Texas government workers.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department — overseen by a Perry-appointed commission — has killed “50 some-odd” burros in the park since re-instituting the shoot-to-kill policy last year, said Brent Leisure, state parks director.
Or in parks-speak: “We have undertaken a practice of using lethal means for burro control … It was really our only safe and effective alternative in controlling that particular invasive species.”
An online petition campaign is seeking to pressure Perry and the state agency to stop killing the burros.
Parks and Wildlife has posted a “fact sheet” on its Web site about the issue.
Critics contend the killing of the burros is related to the reintroduction of desert bighorn sheep to their native area, saying it’s ultimately meant to satisfy “wealthy hunters.”
Leisure said there are no plans for the sheep to be hunted. He also said the re-establishment of the bighorn sheep isn’t “singularly” related to the burro slaughter, which he said is meant to protect the overall ecosystem.
Asked about the petition drive, Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said by e-mail that “the governor expects Parks and Wildlife to act in the best interest of Texas’ land and species. Would refer you to them for any other questions.”
- West Texas Wild Burro Controversy Flares Again for Texas Parks (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Wild Burro Advocate Speaks Out to Trigger Happy Texas Commission (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Wild Burro Shooting Texas Parks and Wildlife to hold Annual Public Hearing (rtfitch.wordpress.com)