Mass Donkey Castrations Delayed

Donkeys Harder To Trap As Drought Conditions Ease

 UPDATED 7:34 AM HST Feb 04, 2011

An effort to fly in a team of veterinarians to help with a mass donkey sterilization program on the Big Island is being postponed.

A joint effort between a Waimea veterinarian, community groups, and the Humane Society of the United States to control the spiraling population is in a holding pattern.

?We planned to do a clinic next week for humanely capturing and castrating the donkeys and either rehoming those to sanctuaries on the mainland or ideally at a sanctuary here in Hawaii where they could live out the rest of the lives," said Inga Gibson of the Humane Society of the United States.

Three months ago, Dr. Brady Bergin took on a task to help save the wild donkey herd in Waikaloa, which was then estimated between 400 to 600.

Parched conditions up in the hills forced the donkeys affectionately dubbed the ?Kona nightingales,? to move into more urban areas in the Waikaloa Village area for food and water.

The rains over the past few months have provided a food source, so the donkeys are staying out of the roadways and neighborhoods. It is however making it more difficult for them to be corralled.

Last year, the groups were able to trap about a hundred donkeys and successfully castrate the males and sterilize the females.

The donkeys were able to be relocated as people stepped in to adopt them.

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