LOS ANGELES (AP) — Someone has been killing the wild burros of California's Mojave Desert, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is offering up to $10,000 to anyone who can help catch the culprit.

Over the past three months, 42 dead burros with gunshot wounds have been found along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 15, the main highway linking Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

Wild burros are protected under federal law.

They are also an iconic symbol of the American Southwest, dating to their days as pack animals for prospectors and others.

William Perry Pendley, the bureau's deputy director for policy and programs, said Friday his agency will "pursue every lead" until those responsible are caught.

The bureau says the killings occurred between the California ghost town of Halloran Springs and the Nevada state line.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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