HIGHGROVE (CBSLA.com) — A herd of burros is making life miserable for some drivers in Riverside County.
Well, miserable for some. The folks who have to slow down or come to a complete stop to avoid hitting the donkeys.
Some motorists, meanwhile, have made the herd something of a tourist attraction. Some drivers are getting out of their cars and actually feeding the burros. Talk about a traffic jam.
The burros are getting fatter and less inclined to stay off the road. They’re roaming in the Highgrove neighborhood of Riverside and Animal Control and city officials aren’t entirely sure what to do next.
Reporting from just east of the 215 Freeway, CBS2 and KCAL9′s Greg Mills says “every evening there is an impromptu petting zoo and feeding frenzy here.”
Said Elise Green, “They’re really gentle and stuff.”
She and her grandfather have discovered that the burros will stop to eat most anything. Said her grandpa, “Carrots, apples, oranges.”
Residents were used to seeing an occasional burro or two. But lately says one, “This is like nothing you have ever seen.”
At dusk, there is a parade of cars — and they all have to slow as the burros take over the roadway.
The burros are hungry and thirsty. Resident Ken Juarez started by leaving a barrel of water out for the donkeys. “We started out with one barrel,” he says, “and within an hour that was dry. So we came out with two more barrels. And the donkeys just flocked over here.”
Many residents are concerned that the burros are now starting to show up at all hours especially along Mt. Vernon Ave., a stretch of road where motorists go at freeway speeds.
One concerned resident got the city to put up several “Burro Xing” signs.
But Mills reports the signs don’t always help. More of the burros are becoming roadkill. One woman said she heard a burro was struck and killed yesterday. And Animal Control told Mills it is not unusual for them to have to remove dead burros from the street.
Animal Control officers told Mills they want residents to stop feeding and watering the burros. He reports, “it’s better for the burros if they fear people and the cars they drive.”