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Monday, November 30, 2009

Persistent Donkey Myth: Donkeys are Dying for Lack of Water

It is very hard for our minds to wrap around the idea that the Waikoloa Nightingales don't need to be given water. Yes, they do need water, and sometimes it is harder for them to find. They should not be kept somewhere with no fresh water. According to THE PEACEFUL VALLEY DONKEY RESCUE, donkeys are so adapted to dry conditions that
Donkeys can tolerate water loss up to 30% of their body weight; they can replenish it in only 15 minutes of drinking.
Which brings us to the question of what does a donkey weigh? To determine that, we need to know, how tall is the donkey? Stay tuned for factoids.

Meanwhile, let's review:

MWN is working on ways to help the donkeys for the long term.  Join us, we need you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

USHS Brings Resources to the Donkeys

U.S. Humane Society now has their Veterinary Director in touch with two Island vets; a very good thing. This is the third specialist the U.S. Humane Society has involved in the project to safely manage the herds.

Waikoloa Village Association is building a fence to protect its golf course and planning to capture many donkeys to keep them out of people's yards. Since donkeys will walk a fence to the end, this presents a challenge. The HelCo "powerline" road is an example of a long, sturdy, well maintained fence that just ends abruptly. The donkeys go along it and around the end.

The concern is that no donkeys be harmed, that they find suitable homes, and that males be gelded before being released somewhere else on the Island.

Friday, November 20, 2009

WVA Manager's Plan

This is the document regarding donkeys written and handed out by WVA General Manager at the November 18, 2009 WVA Talk Story. It gives background and the current plan. We've come a long way from where the plan was to "turn over" the donkeys to "DLNR." Great news!

Update: Oh what tangled webs some folks weave as they continue their life-long pattern of deceit. Very little of this was the truth at the time, and I knew it at the time. But I had agreed to be a good girl and not point out the lies, exaggerations, and broken promises, in the interest of the donkeys.

News flash, donkeys do die eventually due to a wide variety of causes, especially feral ones.

A great number of points were later rescinded. For example, it is NOT WVA manager's duty to protect homeowner properties. The job is to not expose WVA to liability of helping out with donkeys.  The liability of neglecting homeowner is not an issue and continues today the same. Although it could change with our new manager. He's just going with the flow right now. The standard procedure when someone discovers donkeys munching their trees is they call the office, office person says there is nothing they can do as they are not WVA's donkey's (even though they came directly from WVA land. Then office person says they can call me for help. I advise building a (WVA-approved) fence. I listen to sputtering for a while and then just make notes to pass on to the team. People who missed this all the first time around still think there is someone charged with getting rid of the donkeys in their yard, like Ghost Busters! Yeah, Who Ya Gonna Call?  I'll come right over and talk the wild, feral animal into a trailer and haul it away, ANYWHERE away, and not send a bill. I think Ghost Busters sent bills but it didn't cover their expenses.

There was such vindictiveness headed at me for telling people of WVA's plans to cull herds (yes, I heard it on two occasions, once it was "no more than 20 donkeys to be killed") that two community groups I belong to were singled out for unfair, discriminatory treatment and endless bad mouthing by management. Wow, just wow. But, when the "laser beam" of the MEDIA points out the things someone plans to do and has actually done, some folks go into Blender Mode. That's where every excuse and sloppy lies are spun around till goopey and then the lid flies off and it spews on everyone within range.

Yes I'll delete this later, I'm having a flash back.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Best News Yet

At the WVA talk story last night, manager Jim Whillock distributed a plan to protect WVA resources while securing the safety of donkeys. WVA is taking advantage of consulting with the US Humane Society.

Thank you everyone who has been supportive of Malama Waikoloa Nightingales from day one to today. Please continue to care and be ready to help if we can to prevent donkeys and cars from their collision course on Waikoloa Road.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Donkeys in the News Again

The Star Bulletin ran an interview with Jim Whillock and Pete Hoffmann today.

It is good to hear he means the best.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WVA Talk Story is Back On for the 18th

The WVA Talk Story has been re-posted on the WVA website, after being previously cancelled. This is good news and we hope to hear the positive plans WVA is making for donkeys.
Click the image to see the new announcement

Monday, November 9, 2009

Euthanasia Last Resort

I have been assured by the WVA Manager that the WVA will only kill donkeys once other alternatives have been exhausted and there are still donkeys left, around the village. And other alternatives are being sought.

While  euthanasia is now Plan B instead of Plan A, it is disturbing that it is part of the plan at all.

How long does the capture go on? How many? Dunno.

Thank you everyone who helped bring about this change of view.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Waikoloa Donkeys in the News – Again!

Great News!

The Waikoloa Nigtingales are covered on the front page of today's West Hawaii Today. The WVA manager says no one wants to kill a single donkey. I thank everyone who has contacted the Board and the Manager, and, hope you will let them know of your ongoing interest over the coming weeks and months. A gentle reminder to keep it respectful, please.

An incorrect statement is made in the article: "Since the Waikoloa Village Association announced at its board meeting its plans to build a corral, rumors have run rampant, erroneously stating that the association wants to euthanize the donkeys or give them to someone -- including DLNR -- who will, Whillock said."  The correct situation is since the the WVA Manager announced it had arranged to turn over donkeys to the DLNR, and that it didn't know exactly where the donkeys would go after that, that truth was emailed by me to friends and acquaintances in Waikoloa. Lots of people at the meeting heard this. Only after that email, and subsequent events, did the WVA Manager say he wasn't going to turn over the donkeys to the DLNR. In fact, the Manager had not spoken to the DLNR.  Further, there would have been no ranchers come forward with adoption offers if it had not been in the newspaper. Thank you for noting this clarification of the series of events. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WVA Talk Story Cancelled

The WVA has decided to cancel the talk story for members on November 18th. Our manager demanded I put all the worms back in the can today or he would cancel the talk story.

You may click the image below to see the original invitation to "talk donkeys."


This is turning into a more hopeful situation every day. People are becoming aware that an "urgent" problem does not require a "drastic" solution. Actually, we are "re"turning to a hopeful situation.

DLNR has no plans to kill donkeys, nor do they have funds to do so. They just plain don't like the idea of it, either. They are DONKEYS. (Update: There were a lot of people, or perhaps one or two really loud ones, who think the DLNR should eradicate donkeys, hence Cindy Evans was been approached to make legislation, but did notinclude funding. DLNR testified against it. So did Malama Waikoloa Nightingales.)

We have the forces of the US Humane Society.

We'll get an update on the number of accidents involving donkeys on Waikoloa Road from the Hawaii County PD at the next South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee (SKTSC) meeting on November 10, 4 PM in Waimea.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Action Request

A good deal of community networking is going on right now. This is SUPER GOOD NEWS!
We are asking YOU to contact Board members and voice your concern. Ask that plans to capture and turn animals over to the DLNR be suspended until there is a full and complete effort made to prevent harm to the donkeys. You'll find emails and phones for  members of the WVA Board at  WVA Board Contacts 

Please, when contacting the WVA, remember Board members are community leaders and volunteers who work hard and have good intentions.

MAHALO TO ALL who have contacted us with their concerns and efforts on behalf of the donkeys. The immediate focus needs to be on having the Waikoloa Village Association halt plans to catch and turn over donkeys to  State DLNR Wildlife Management.

Meanwhile, Malama Waikoloa Nightingales is working to make contact with someone at DLNR Wildlife Management to learn what they have been planning, as we do not know. The public has a right and a need to know and we will find out.

Long Term Donkey Population Management

We've had discussions here locally with two representatives of the US Humane Society (at a national level, not local.) One was their national Urban Wildlife Director. With the USHS we are exploring long term, humane methods of curtailing the growth of herds so it does not exceed the shrinking amount of grazing land available to them.

The details are complex and the costs high, but there is some possibility of getting something done to try to dramatically slow the growth of the herds. It is a long term project of major proportions.

Meanwhile, the USHS has recommended that after donkeys are lured to the corral by gentle means, the males be gelded before being released. (Previously, when donkeys were removed from the Hualalai resort area and moved to Waikoloa, they were not gelded.)

All of this has also been discussed with a large-animal vet here on the Island, so someone who is knowledgeable about equine matters is providing lots of expertise. 

I'll revisit this subject in a future post.