News: On zebras, subs and bugs


Are Tijuana’s donkeys (the ones that are painted to look like zebras) really endangered?

That’s the question raised by an Associated Press story this week. These kinds of articles show up every so often when there is an uptick in drug-related violence, tourism goes down, and certain media groups start looking for a snazzy new angle. In fact, here’s another story just like it by Reuters from 2006.

I would venture to speculate this time around that there’s another reason for the downsized donkey business: The donkeys are competing against the Tijuana Cow Parade art exhibit that’s also on the tourist strip of Avenida Revolucion. The sculpture cows, after all, don’t charge for photos.

If the drug trade is scaring away business on Avenida Revolucion, don’t expect to get a break in the high seas either. Another story emerged this week about a submarine that was found off the coast of Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca, with loads of cocaine. These kinds of subs are typically found off the coast of Colombia, according to news reports, but it looks like now they are migrating north like the whales.

Finally, remember Across the border’s July 1 post about the Tijuana bug at the border? U.S. media were abuzz this week about the Asian citrus phyllids’ potential theat to the California citrus industry while this blog celebrates its first “scoop.”

photo credit: RVforSaleGuide.com

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5 responses to “News: On zebras, subs and bugs

  1. I think that both the AP and the Reuters stories are way off the mark, I was glad you called them on it. I have a less sexy explanation–it’s a combination of factors that’s driving down tourism on Avenida Revolucion: long border lines to return to the United States, the U.S. economic downturn, persistent fears of police extortion and other crimes, despite City Hall’s largely successful efforts to clean up the strip.

  2. Hi, Caroline. Those theories all sound plausible to me . Thanks for bringing them up, and sharing them in this forum.

  3. I dont understand why people would paint a donkey. It is crule.

  4. Why dont people go out to africa and just get themselves a zebra??

  5. I would like to recall the story behind how that trend got started. I know that it’s been written about before, but I’m not finding a good link. A Wikipedia explanation posits that the stripes were added years ago so that the animals wouldn’t disappear in black and white photos under the glare of the sun. But that’s an outdated reason.
    ???

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