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Since May, more than 40 wild burros (above) have been found shot on a highway along the California-Nevada border

More than 40 wild donkeys were discovered shot along a highway near the Mojave Desert – forcing officers to offer a $ 18,500 reward for information that led to an arrest.

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The burros, described as a & # 39; living symbol & # 39; of the & # 39; American West & # 39 ;, were found after they were illegally killed near the California-Nevada border.

Since May of this year, 42 of the small donkey breed from the Clark Mountain Herd Area have been killed, according to the Land Management Agency (BLM).

They may not be killed, harassed, captured or branded in 10 Western states controlled by the Department of the Interior or the US Forest Service.

Little detail has been released about the crimes apart from some of the burros that were killed while drinking from springs and that many were juveniles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Since May, more than 40 wild burros (above) have been found shot on a highway along the California-Nevada border

Since May, more than 40 wild burros (above) have been found shot on a highway along the California-Nevada border

They were found along Interstate 5 near the Mojave Desert (above) in & # 39; various states of dissolution & # 39;
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They were found along Interstate 5 near the Mojave Desert (above) in & # 39; various states of dissolution & # 39;

They were found along Interstate 5 near the Mojave Desert (above) in & # 39; various states of dissolution & # 39;

Now BLM and others officials are offering $ 18,500 for information that leads to arrest and conviction hoping to catch the murderers.

Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Campaign, said: “The people who shot these innocent and beloved burros deserve to be brought to justice.

& # 39; We hope that an increase in pay will lead to arrest and conviction for these cruel acts & # 39 ;.

William Perry Pendley of BLM described the dead as & # 39; cruel and ferocious & # 39; and vowed that they would fully investigate all tips.

The dead animals were discovered in & # 39; different states of dissolution & # 39; along Interstate 15 between Halloran Springs, California and Primm, Nevada.

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The animals are protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Anyone who violates the act can be fined $ 2,000 or up to one year in prison, or both at the same time – the penalties can also apply to each individual count that is charged.

Neda DeMayo, president of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation, said: & # 39; The public country of America belongs to us all.

& # 39; These cruel and hostile actions against federally protected animals affect everyone who works so hard for their protection and for humane, non-lethal solutions to management problems. & # 39;

DeMayo hoped the reward would encourage someone to step forward and help & # 39; put an end to these pointless murders & # 39 ;.

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Ginger Kathrens, director of The Cloud Foundation, added: & # 39; The burros are from the American people and are beloved symbols of the history and pioneering spirit of our nation.

She added: & # 39; They deserve to be protected. & # 39;

The pack animals were brought by the Spaniards around 1500 from Africa to southwestern America. Burros (above) was used enormously during the Gold Rush era to help transport goods

The pack animals were brought by the Spaniards around 1500 from Africa to southwestern America. Burros (above) was used enormously during the Gold Rush era to help transport goods

The pack animals were brought by the Spaniards around 1500 from Africa to southwestern America. Burros (above) was used enormously during the Gold Rush era to help transport goods

The wild burros found dead were originally from Clark County but were discovered near a highway with bullet wounds

The wild burros found dead were originally from Clark County but were discovered near a highway with bullet wounds

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The wild burros found dead were originally from Clark County but were discovered near a highway with bullet wounds

Burros, originally from Africa, was introduced by the Spaniards in the 1500s according to the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC)

Their name comes from the Spanish word & # 39; borrico & # 39; which means donkey.

Since their arrival, the burros have accompanied explorers and pioneers on long hikes throughout the west, sometimes even surviving their human owners.

During the Gold Rush years in the 19th century, they were used as a pack animal with wild horses.

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They & # 39; worked tirelessly & # 39; to carry supplies, ore, water and machinery to mine camps until the end of the heyday, when some escaped and many others were released.

They formed herds in the wild because of their & # 39; innate ability to survive under the toughest conditions & # 39 ;.

Since then, their numbers have fallen in the 1950s after being hunted because they ate the vegetation of the farmer.

But in 1971 the Human Society, along with the IBM, helped stabilize their population after adopting a protection campaign.

Go to wetip.com to report a tip with 800-78CRIME or to submit anonymous information.

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