Burro Population Stirs Concerns in Mohave County

Ken Sanger | Oatman

Mohave County's celebrated population of burros is drawing concerns after one county official described the overpopulation of the animals as a "crisis."

As the Associated Press and other outlets reported recently, Hildy Angius, chairman of the Northwestern Arizona county's Board of Supervisors, called the condition of the animals "inhumane" and said many of the free-roaming animals face starvation.

Angius added that the Black Mountains, where the animals make their homes, can sustain about 500 burros — not the 2,000 currently thought to live there. She said the conditions were forcing the animals to leave the mountains and go to nearby Bullhead City, where they risk being hit by cars.

Burros, which are small donkeys, are not native to Arizona. The wild burros now found in the state are descended from pack animals from mining and other operations in the state's early days. The best-known place to see them in Mohave County is Oatman, an old mining town reborn as a tourism stop where burros freely roam the streets.

The AP reported that Mohave County has been in touch with federal officials about managing the burro population.

Add new comment