The Bureau of Land Management is conducting three emergency wild burro gathers in the region.
Collection activities began the second week of August near Bullhead City and are scheduled to begin in the following weeks in the Cibola Wildlife Refuge and the Parker Strip.
Valerie Gohlke of the BLM's Colorado River district tells KAWC the gathers are in response to a string of incidents involving wild burros on state roads.
“Mostly vehicle collisions with the animals, which causes human injury. It causes damage to the vehicle, obviously, and then, of course, it causes injuries to the animals, which we are trying to avoid,” Gohlke says.
The Bureau expects to gather about 470 wild burros in a process that Gohlke calls “humane and gentle.” She says there are no round-ups by horseback or helicopter. Because of heat and other factors, the gathers are designed to limit stress to the animals.
“We basically just have holding areas where we put food and water and the burros just freely go in and out and eat and drink. And then we just sort of slowly start closing the gates,” she says.
Wild burros gathered from the three location will be taken to BLM Wild Horse and Burro facilities in Florence, Arizona and Ridgecrest, California, where they will be prepared for possible adoption.
Gohlke says the wild burro’s natural curiosity can lead to dangerous interactions with humans on state roadways, but their ability to habituate to people also makes them attractive as pets or farm animals.