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Catching Up On Invasive Species In The Desert And Elections In The City

A close-up of a burro eating hay.
The Bureau says it adopted out more than 8,600 burros and horses in the last fiscal year, but says the rate of adoption and sales historically hasn't kept up with population growth.
(Mariana Dale
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We are usually bringing you stories about animals that are on the brink of extinction, like mountain lions, for instance. But today we are talking about the overpopulation of a certain species of cute, adorable animal.

About The California Burro

California burros, otherwise known as donkeys, fit that bill. According to my colleague Mariana Dale’s reporting, California has more donkeys in the desert than it needs…more than seven times.


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They don’t have many predators, herds grow quickly and desert vegetation is a fantastic snack as far they’re concerned. But they are in danger themselves and can also be a danger to the environment in large numbers, which is why the Bureau of Land Management and other groups are trying to figure out how to control their population.

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This drought is impacting them. During the last long dry spell in the spring of 2010, 56 burros died because of the extremely hot weather and the lack of immediate access to water. Experts said they’ve had an impact on our vegetation, native species. They’ve also been known to create havoc on desert military bases. 

According to Mariana’s story, not everyone is in agreement with how to safely solve the issue to make it sustainable. Burros have been herded around to different places, birth control has been attempted and there’s even opportunities to adopt them.

But while I’m sure two of my nieces and a little cousin would LOVE for me to bring some burros home from the desert to play with, I think I have to leave that to others.

These animals do need help though. To understand the history of how the burro came to California and what’s being done to care for them and control their population, check out Mariana’s latest story.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

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*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • As we’ve reported, there’s a whole bunch of new people joining the Los Angeles City Council. Here’s your guide to who’s who and what they do. 
  • Orange County Democratic Rep. Katie Porter was able to secure another term in Congress after a very close contest in the midterms. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Mayor-Elect Karen Bass gave her victory speech yesterday at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. What’s the first thing on her to-do list? Declaring a state of emergency on homelessness. 
  • The L.A. County Public Health Department is now strongly suggesting wearing masks as COVID-19, flu and RSV cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. 
  • Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, is now under arrest for allegedly intentionally crashing a car into a group of L.A. Sheriff’s Department recruits along with trainees in other departments. The crash left 25 people injured. 
  • Lily Espinoza, a UC Santa Barbara student, thought the story of Oscar Gomez deserved to be honored. So, she and her peers created a Day of the Dead altar in front of her school’s student center just for him. My colleague Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, who reported on the unexpected, tragic death of the 1990s Chicano college student activist in the Forgotten Revolutionary podcast talked to students about this on the anniversary of Gomez’s death.
  • Just a day after the Republicans gained back power of the House and three weeks after her husband Paul was assaulted in their San Francisco home, Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. Speaker of the House, announced Thursday she will end her tenure as the party leader. She was the first woman to hold that position.
  • After a costly fight to raise wages for the lowest-paid healthcare workers, ballot measures that would have achieved that in two cities yield a split vote. Inglewood and Duarte were test cases by labor unions to raise those wages. There is still a plan to test it out in other areas. 
  • Yesterday, we asked you about your go-to gifts for the holidays. If you’re anything like me, inspiration is needed. DesignerCon might have some toys, designer items and unique art to jumpstart your holiday shopping. You can attend its convention starting today through Sunday. There’s events for everyone in this weekend’s edition of Best Things To Do This Weekend.

Wait! One More Thing...

The Best Sunsets in LA

Sun is setting over Los Angeles. Apartment buildings and skyscrapers are in view set against a blue and pink sky
LAist reader Mallory Carra saw these orange and pink hues of the sunset from the Yamashiro Night Market above Franklin in the Hollywood Heights neighborhood
(Courtesy Mallory Carra

Sometimes, it’s just nice to just get outside and enjoy a good sunset. Whether you're sitting in traffic, going to the beach or hanging out outside ANYWHERE, there’s something special about L.A.’s beautiful sunsets. 

We asked folks on social media for their favorite moments watching the sun wind down in LA. We got several responses and some wonderful stories. Listen to the How to LA podcast for three unique sunset experiences. Take Mallory Carra for instance.

Carra said she loved watching the sunset at the Yamashiro Night Market on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood Heights. There was the liveliness of the atmosphere. The sizzling of the food. Live music in the tents. And the sunset.

“I feel like when I walked in there, all of the troubles of the earlier week melted away. Because I was here. I was going to try something new. I was going to eat some good food. I was going to watch a great sunset. You can always tell because the colors start to eliminate from the sky. The pinkish and blue hues just start to move across the sky and get brighter and brighter.” - Mallory Carra

The Night Market is no longer — yet another victim of the pandemic. But the Yamashiro restaurant, and the gorgeous view, are still there.

If you’re craving a soothing episode all about the joy of watching a sunset, listen to the latest How To LA podcast episode. Bonus points if you’re listening outside while watching the sun go down.

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