America's wild burros have played an important role in history, yet today they endure great hardships at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Wild burros can survive with little water and low quality vegetation, thriving on brush and tree bark that most animals would turn their nose up to. They are fierce opponents to large predators, standing their ground and fighting back against a coyote or a mountain lion that is threatening. Burro herds are also slower to reproduce during extreme drought. These are just a few of the reasons that burros have become such successful desert inhabitants.
These hardy desert survivalists can become too successful and become overpopulated in these barren deserts where water is a precious and necessary resource. Burros were designated by Congress in 1971 as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the west" and are protected from illegal capture and torture. Currently the Bureau of Land Management's plan to manage these wild, yet resilient creatures consists of rounding them up in areas deemed overpopulated and adopting the burros out to the public. This approach may have worked for a while, but over the last six years, adoption rates have fallen and there are now 900 burros living in government holding pens - at no small cost to the taxpayer.