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The Donkey Refuge Where Burros Become Coyote-Kicking Livestock Guardians

Atlas Obscura – With the right training, feral donkeys go from zero to hero.

“Peaceful Valley, the largest rescue organization of its kind, has recently been tasked with removing thousands of donkeys from national parks across the country. Mark Meyers, executive director of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue (PVDR) spends his days venturing into these donkey hot zones, catching them using humane water traps (an enclosed space with water, food, and no exit), and bringing them to his Texas headquarters. But what does one do with tens of thousands of formerly feral donkeys? Historically, not too much. But Meyers and his team are working to change that. At PVDR, donkeys are sorted, taken to donkey school, and given a new life, often as companion donkeys or pets. But burros with a wild side, it turns out, are huge boons for ranchers across the U.S. seeking effective, humane ways to protect their herds. With the help of PVDR, unwanted “wild” donkeys are becoming guardians, set out to pasture with goats, sheep, and even cattle, to keep them safe from predators…”

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