The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the deaths of 18 wild burros at its Axtell, Utah wild burro corral and on the Sinbad Herd Management Area 30 miles west of Green River in Emery County, Utah.
Officials said the deaths occurred between April 22 and June 10 in the group of 226 animals that were captured in March and April of this year from the Sinbad area. There have been 15 deaths at the Axtell corrals and three on the range.
A team of veterinarians is working to determine the cause of the deaths and to provide recommendations to help prevent additional mortality. This team includes private veterinarians, veterinary diagnosticians and pathologists with the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, a veterinary epidemiologist with the U. S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Utah state veterinarian.
The veterinarians have completed necropsies on seven of the animals. Test results and a final report will be released when complete.
BLM officials said there were no outward signs of trauma or serious illness among the deceased animals. As a precaution, the burro corral has been temporarily closed to animal movements and no burros will be transported from the site until the investigation of the situation is complete.
BLM specialists are closely monitoring burros on the range in the Sinbad Herd Management Area as a result of the on-the-range deaths. There have been no signs of illness or trauma. An aerial survey of the herd management area is planned.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.