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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

*STATUS* There Will (Always) Be Donkeys On Waikoloa Road

Malama Waikoloa Nightingales is currently at a standstill.

The only way to capture the donkeys for return to fenced areas is to set up a corral and lure them with tasty donkey bait. Even if there were money to accomplish this, there might not be skilled people willing to implement it.

Until there we find someone willing to describe how to build a corral and how much it costs and what it takes to moves donkeys from the corral a short distance to a fenced location, there is not a great deal more we can do.

We'll  continue to provide information and take sightings, and keep our (donkey) ears open for possible new ideas.

After a wide community effort, it appears that the donkeys that escaped fencing will continue to remain outside fencing and have access to Waikoloa Road. The last time anyone got a good look, several jennies were pregnant, so there will be more, soon. (Mating is a year-round, not seasonal, process.)

We regret we cannot find a solution at this time. We spoke with ranchers, our (famed, local) large-animal vet, bureaucrats, elected officials, land owners, animal rights groups, and a whole bunch of other people.

We made a final report to the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee that includes the details. This was forwarded to the Mayor's office, along with a thank you letter, by the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee.

No one is required to keep the donkeys off the road. Landowners are not legally responsible for feral animals on their land. Hawaii County is not required to mitigate the hazard beyond putting up warning signs.

Round-ups proved problematic: donkeys don't behave like cattle and sheep. Valuable, trained horses risk injury on the uneven, rocky terrain.