The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has a message for Arizona tourists: You're creating fat-asses.
The bureau is concerned with visitors to the town of Oatman, where they say tourists are over-feeding the town's wild burros, making them unhealthy, and...well...fat.
"The town has really encouraged burros to be down there; it's part of the draw of Oatman," says Roger Oyler, the program lead for wild horses and burros at the BLM in Phoenix. "We want to try to work with them to have burros around town, but we don't want the people feeding them."
Oatman sees about a half million tourists each year, who come from all over the world to visit the old mining town, and almost all of them come toting a carrot or two for the famous population of wild burros.
Oyler says that BLM is telling store owners and tourists that it's up to them to help get the beefy burros back into shape.
"BLM is certainly not going to put a carrot cop up here to make sure that nobody feeds the burros," he said. "They don't have the funding nor the manpower."
Oyler says that because of budget constraints, the bureau is going to have to settle for a good old fashion public awareness campaign with catching slogans like "No Diet-Busting Cubes or Carrots -- Please!" ''Keep Oatman Burros Happy and Healthy -- No Extra Food," and "Give Burros Care, not Carrots."
To be honest, an army of "carrot cops" probably would have been more fun.
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