One of the most interesting and amusing things to visit and view in the desert areas of the south west, are the wild burros of Arizona.
In the Oatman arizona area live wild burros. Holdouts from another era. They are, according to reports, leftover from the prospecting days, descendents of those burro’s who served masters who may or may not have died there, and left them to fend for themselves.
In the United States, with its rich prospecting history in the American southwest, the donkey was one of the most important parts of the prospecting, since it was used as a beast of burden, and bred mules. These animals played a major part in opening up the west to newcomers, with their hardiness and their ability to survive nearly anything.
The wild burros of Arizona are, just as the name implies, wild. There are normally about twelve or more. They can be seen in many parts of Arizona, but some, near the towns of Kingman, Golden Valley, or near Oatman Arizona.
They forage and fend for themselves, coming and going as they please. They show up often on the roadways and in the town looking for a hand out from the tourists and residents. Feeding them is acceptable, and even sometimes encouraged, but do use caution when you do so. They may seem tame and pleasant but they are in fact, wild animals, with several generations of wild animals behind them.
While there are many Burros that do seem to go into the towns regularly you’ll find many many more that do not in the hills that surround Oatman.
According to the town of Oatman web site …” These burros are direct decendants of those which were brought here by Gold Miners.. Then the coming of World War Two when the gold mines surrounding Oatman and Gold Roads, Arizona was shut down the burros were set free to roam the hills.”
If you’re traveling in Arizona, stop in at Oatman and pay a call on the wild burros that roam the streets of the town. Use good sense and some amount of caution so that your experience with the wild burros is a pleasant one for both of you.
Take some time out to view these remnants of our mining and prospecting past. You can purchase carrots in a lot of the shops that exist locally near where the burros are seen but please don’t feed them things like candy, bread or other processed foods.
Its not good for tthem and it can gt them accustomed to a food thats not going to be there for them