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Wild Burro's Of The U.S. Desert Southwest
Wild desert burro's
What Other Animal Could Look THIS Cute With A "Mohawk" Hairdo??
Wild burro's used to be much more abundant in the Desert United States Southwest. But these days, due to some senseless hunting and killing of burro's, the number unfortunately has gone down. Today, they are kept in certain areas by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, and are protected.
Wild burro's were first brought to the desert Southwest by Spaniards in the 1600's. Early prospectors of gold and silver in the Southwest used the burro's here to help them as they traveled long distances looking for silver and gold. Burro's are hardy pack animals and are capable of traveling long distances with relatively little food or water. They are very sure footed and can work even in the heat of the day. The burro's that survived from this time are now the ancestors of the burro's we see today in the desert.
When in Las Vegas, be sure to take a trip about 30 minutes West of the "Strip" to see the Red Rock Canyon National Park. In a town about 5 miles from there called "Bonnie Springs," you might be lucky enough to see some wild burro's wandering around. There is a parking lot near the entrance to the town where the burro's hang out and forage for... I mean, stick their HEADS into people's cars... and CHARM them into giving them some food! The are the cutest things when they do it, too, and I think they KNOW it!
Now you're not supposed to feed them, but I have a feeling some folks do, why else would they keep hanging around this particular parking lot? In the wild, they eat plants including grasses, Mormon tea, plantain, and Palo Verde. They need to be within about 10 miles or so of drinking water and usually that's where you will find them. They have to have access to drinking water throughout the year, although they are remarkably durable animals.
Burro's can lose up to 30% of the water in their body, and replenish that lost water simply by drinking for five minutes. Compared to a human, a human needs medical attention if they lose ten percent of the water in their body, and it takes them almost a full DAY to replenish the water lost. These wild burro's are incredibly adept at living in the hot, arid climate of the desert, where they have survived for centuries. Usually wild burro's come out during the day to forage for food, unless it is extremely hot, when they will be seen more at night, or in the early morning.
Wild burro's features are long ears, short manes, (known by me as natural "Mohawk" hairdo's), and they can weigh around 350 pounds. They stand about 5 feet tall at the shoulders, and vary in color from gray, to shades of brown, to black and some have white features as well. Female burro's usually give birth to one colt a year. They have virtually no natural predators (except for human's with guns...) and can have a life span of 25 years in the wild.
In addition to controlling areas that the burro's are free to roam, the Federal Bureau of Land Management has a program in place so approximately 9,000 wild burro's a year are put up for adoption, as well as wild horses. There are ten States in the United States desert Southwest where the burro's are found roaming the countryside. The wild burro's and horses are protected by an act of congress from 1971 which allows them to roam free without threats, and The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for enforcing this.
In 1973, an act was put into place allowing people who have adequate facilities and capabilities to care for these wild burro's and wild horses to adopt them. If you're interested in possibly adopting a wild horse or burro, information can be found in the link below for the Bureau of Land Management adoption program. From there you would need to fill out an application, and upon approval, a horse or burro could be living in your corral!
I only wish we had the facilities and capabilities to adopt some of these cuties, but alas, living in the city of Las Vegas, I think it would be frowned upon to have a wild BURRO living in our condo... so, I'll leave the adoptions up to those who have the land and can do that. They sure are cute though.
I found out through research that the burro's originated in Africa where they were known as wild a**'s. So, in an attempt at humor, when we saw the wild burro's in the town of Bonnie Springs, I had to tell my husband that I bet when they talk to one another, they say that some of their wild a** buddies are over in Bonnie Springs trying to score some good "eats" from the tourists. I tend to be "known" for bad puns... and I heard that groaning from all the way over here! (Winking!)
But on a more serious note, if I can help just one wild burro to be adopted to a good home, this will have been worth writing. If you are ever in Bonnie Springs, be prepared to have one of these cuties stick their heads in your car. You're not supposed to feed them, but be sure to bring the camera, and bring the kids, they will get a kick out of them!
Bureau of Land Management Information On Burro and Wild Horse Adoptions
To Read About Burros That Roam The Streets In The Town Of Oatman, Arizona...
- Oatman Arizona ~ A Vision Of The Old West With Wild Burros, Ghosts, and Gunfights
A trip to Oatman, Arizona is like a visit to the Old West U.S. of the early 1900's when mining was booming, and saloons were popular gathering places. The Haunted Oatman Hotel is one of the main attractions today, along with the wild burro's that fre