Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting # 294 "In His Mom's Shadow" Texas Big Bend Burros

"In His Mom's Shadow"
6 by 9 inches Watercolor
by Linda L Martin Artist

Prints are available of this item for $25.00 each
contact the artist here:

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will go to the protection and preservation of the Texas Burros.

The painting "In His Mom's Shadow" was inspired by some of the research I have been doing in preparation for the painting of this mini series of  wild burros from Texas. Learning to adapt to the rough mostly treeless terrain of the South West Texas dessert  has been a form of self preservation for the burros. The main predators in the area are mountain lions. The wild cats, also called puma, often perch in trees or in high rocky areas and pounce down on  their prey. For a burro sized mostly under 13 hands to find the comfort of shade trees along the Rio Grande or its Tributaries would be certain death. So the burro foals have learned to stand and sleep on the shady side of their mothers during the hot times of the day. Another form of heat coping is to walk slowly and keep their heads down as the heat radiates up as the temperature rises.

Interestingly enough the State of Texas in their conservation efforts  and desire to bring back big horn Sheep to the  Big Bend Ranch State Park are targeting both the mountain lions and the burros for removal to give the sheep a chance to become established. The Burros are being targeted because it is claimed that they compete with the sheep for food and foul the infrequent watering sources. And the mountain lions because they will predate on the sheep. There are several other introduced species as well that the State of Texas park service wishes to remove from the park.

While the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department states on their website that there is no danger of Burros competing with the desert big horn sheep at this time and that some of the burros are probably of the American Heritage variety worthy of preserving, most of the burros are wanted off the land simply because they have adapted so easily to the terrain and are healthy and expanding in herd groups.The website maintains that if the burros are not managed, they may in the future present a problem to the sheep and endanger other wildlife.

Citizens groups of Texas would like to see the donkeys preserved and managed in the park so that they can be adopted out, not removed entirely.  The Citizens certainly do not  want the random killing off the donkeys currently living with in the park as was proposed in 2011. At this time the Governor's office is rethinking the management policy after receiving 100,000 signatures in protest of the killing of Burros in the park.  On April 7th, 2012 a number of wild burro advocates will be visiting the state house in Austin to bring their ideas and awareness about the  the wild burro situation in Big Bend Ranch State Park.

To find out more about what the latest updates are on the preservation of the Big Bend Ranch State Park Wild Burros you can follow  the Wild Burro Protection League under Todd Mission Rescue page on Facebook

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