120 donkeys flown from Hawaii to Calif.

Sept. 18, 2011 at 10:16 AM
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TEHACHAPI, Calif., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- More than 100 unwanted wild donkeys have been flown from Hawaii to California where rescuers will try to find new homes for them, a rancher says.

The 120 animals made the 2,500-mile flight from the Big Island to the mainland and then a 120-mile trip by truck to the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue ranch near Tehachapi Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Hawaiian donkeys are a vestige of an earlier time when they were used to transport sugar cane and other crops, work no longer needed.

"This is a good bunch," facility owner Mark Meyers said while watching the donkeys eating hay. Meyers, 48, and his wife Amy, 37, have helped rescue more than 2,000 donkeys over the past dozen years, the newspaper said. The couple's non-profit ranch can hold up to 325 donkeys while they search for people to adopt them.

An open house will be held Oct. 29 for the public to take a look at the descendants of one-time beasts of burden. There is a $200 fee for those who decide to adopt one of the wild animals, the newspaper said.

Despite their stereotype, donkeys are not stubborn or dumb, Mark Meyers said.

"People tend to admire determination in other humans, but not at all in donkeys," Meyers states on the group's Web site. "When donkeys show the tenacity that kept them alive in the wild, people call them stubborn. But if you think about it, being 'stubborn' is not always a bad thing."

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