Wild Burros

The American West is home to Mustangs, feral horses and the less glamorous wild Burro. These Burros came to North America with the Spanish explorers, miners and settlers and like the wild horses, some escaped or were let loose. Over the course of time they thrived and multiplied. They don’t get as much attention or press as wild horses do. They don’t have the Hollywood looks and appeal that horses have.

I run across them from time to time and the foals are about as cute an animal as you will ever see. They are very fuzzy and look like a plush stuffed animal. Driving back from Alturas, California a few weeks ago, I spotted this small band close to the highway so I took a detour to photograph them.

They were pretty spooky, or at least the Stallion was. He tried to intimidate me and drive his mares off but everyone settled down fairly quickly and I was able to complete a short session. The Stallion is the big dark colored burro and actually I think he is quite handsome.

While Burros are not native to North America they have done very well here and current wild populations are estimated at about 20,000. They are a desert animal so the arid west is a natural place for them to live. They do need water, just not as much as other animals. Wild Burros can lose as much as 30% of their body weight through dehydration, and replace it in only 5 minutes drinking. (Humans require medical attention if 10% of body weight is lost to dehydration and require a full day of intermittent drinking to replenish this loss.) They do need to have a water source within 10 miles.

Hopefully I can find a band this spring with a foal and update with a photo of one of the cute little ones.

23 thoughts on “Wild Burros

  1. The Sagebrush Ocean, as I see it through your lens, is a fascinating place. Love these images and the write-up that accompanies them. Leaves me wanting to learn more. I’m sure that when I see a newborn I’ll want one for company on the back 30. Thanks Alison.

    1. I am so happy to hear that my presentations are leaving a positive impression Nick. I love this place and would not by choice live anywhere else in the world. Thanks for stopping in and commenting. I will try to show you a little Burro soon. πŸ™‚

  2. Such great photos, Alison, I really enjoyed these. We found burros for the first time on our trip to the Nevada desert last month. Those were in a very remote area known as Seven Troughs. I was surprised at how friendly there were…at least that was true of one couple and one stallion living alone. The stallion even sort of followed the car along for a bit. He seemed quite curious. All-in-all, these creatures are much cuter than I had imagined.

    1. Great that you found them out there! They are more wide spread then you might think. I have found them in the Black Rock and Smoke Creek deserts and up on the Sheldon Antelope Refuge and now north of Susanville. They really are cute. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your experience. πŸ™‚

  3. Beautiful photos, as usual, Alison. I really enjoyed your narrative about the burros. If I didn’t live in Texas, I think Nevada would be my second choice. I visited the area many years ago and loved it.

    1. Thanks Bob. I never really intended to write much when I started this blog. I thought I would just post pictures but figured out that they need context. So glad that you are enjoying reading as well as looking. I think Texas and Nevada are pretty cool places! πŸ™‚

  4. We’ve seen the burros down in Oatman, Nevada and wild horses too, but we are still looking for “wild” bands of the burros. The burros in Oatman, while super cute, were overly friendly. They were really town residents. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!

  5. Love the photos, and you got some facts about them that I didn’t know πŸ™‚ I’ve only seen burros in the wild a couple times (I see wild horses every week.) They seem to be extremely intelligent. Thank you for an interesting post!

  6. I had not heard of the wild Burro before, learn something new every day. Nice photos. I think they look cute! πŸ™‚

      1. Would be so fun to see some photos Burro babies. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

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