Marjorie Farabee ~ Director of Wild Burro Affairs
When Nora came shyly to the fence, trying to figure out who I was, she did not realize, that I too was trying to figure her out. Donkeys, I had never spent much time with them. I had no idea then, what incredible character they have. They are intelligent, and wise. They also have a strong instinct for survival. This wisdom coupled with instinct, is what has saddled them with the unfair label of stubborn. The fact is that they are not stubborn, they are merely cautious. When I met Nora that day, little did I know that a whole new world was going to open up before me. Through Nora, I met the owner of the ranch, Johnny Straitz. It has been more than 5 years since I started working at Todd Mission Ranch. There were 15 much loved donkeys living here at the time, who were pets to the owner of the ranch. So, as things developed, we added rescues to our group, and I came on full time as the Equine Manager. We showed all of our equine, including a Tobiano Stallion named Rodeo, and several of our mules. Our donkeys were winning consistently, and one of our favorite donkeys Miss Abby started a blog. I just translate and type for her. Another of our rescues, TMR Miss Emma, won grand champion jennet at halter, at several prestigious shows. We now boast an equal amount of show animals and rescues, with many being both. Todd Mission Ranch is home to 109 equine of all shapes and sizes. And, we do mean home.
Thus, through integration into the world of donkeys, and connection to the Internet, I started to learn about the plight of wild burros. As I read more, and learned more, I became increasingly aware that the voices speaking up for these humble, sagacious, and very worthy animals were few and far between. Then we learned about Texas Parks and Wildlife shooting 71 burros on park land. They literally stood on the canyon walls, and gunned them down with sniper rifles. It was a blood bath, and it broke my heart. This is the incident that caused us to quit showing, and start organizing people around this issue. Burros are simply not treated the same as the mustangs. The more brutal roundups surrounding burros happen because the officials in charge believe there will not be the backlash that would occur if they were to do the same to mustangs. I am here to make them think twice about feeling cavalier about public interest in this subject. In the end, it is public perception that will save all our wild hearts. This is why I believe news about the burros and mustangs has been so suppressed by the major media outlets.