Hundreds of wild burros!

So much to tell you . . .

The crew and I set out this morning to explore the area between Salina and Gunnison, Utah.  Tomorrow (Saturday) we reach the 14-day limit at our Ivie Creek Camp, so I want to scout out possible boondocks.

By the way, if you’re unsure how to pronounce Salina as I have been, I found out the correct way is “Nothing could be fina’ than to be in ol’ Salina in the morning.”  Okay?  Now if you come this way you won’t sound like a rube pronouncing it Saleeeena.  Anyway . . .

What a fun day!

So much happened that I can’t fit it all in one blog post, so for now I’ll focus on one of the adventures of the day — the wild burros we discovered.  Well, actually I discovered them.  Bridget and Spike did a lot of sleeping.

We’re zipping up Highway 89 when somewhere close to the hamlet of Axtell I spot a herd of animals off to the left.   What are they?  Burros?  “Wow!”


I immediately turn onto the next dirt lane and drive along the fence line.


Hundreds of burros populate an immense field.  Yes, hundreds!  They roam in small herds.


The Perfect Tow Vehicle creeps along the fence line, attracting much curiosity.


I’ve always thought a burro is a burro.  In other words, seen one, seen them all.  I learn today that there are different types of burro with a variety of colors and markings possible, and they each have a unique face.  I imagine they have unique personalities as well.

This lovely lady looks like she’s expecting.


This shaggy burro (below) is my favorite.  She’s smaller than most of the others.


Here are two sleek beauties . . .  I wonder if the fur is allowed to fall off naturally or if the burros are sheared.

1-P1050346This is the Bureau of Land Management’s holding facility for wild burros.  Adoption festivals are held periodically in Utah.

There are 540 burros here.  (I looked this up later when I returned to camp.)


Look!  A red burro!


A few pairs of burros engage in mock battle.


Hey, that’s too rough!


Some of the burros are quite talented.  These three are practicing for the circus.  What a tiny burro and with such amazing balance!


I love excursions like this!  When we took off this morning, I didn’t know what we would find.  It turned out to be a very full and memorable day.  The burros are just a small part of it.  Tomorrow I’ll tell you the rest of the story!



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38 Responses to Hundreds of wild burros!

  1. I love it when I find a big field of cows, and how they almost immediately all turn towards you if you look at them. I think they are very curious, and it looks like burros are as well. There is a town in Central Ohio called Celina, and it is pronounced the same way, with the long “I”.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Salina — as one might guess — was named after the salt that was found here.

  2. Don in Okla. says:

    Salina, just like the one in Kansas. I really enjoy your blog and photos.
    Thanks very much. I see where Tioga George is posting again. That’s great.
    Best wishes for safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Tioga George is back? I’ll have to go see!

      I didn’t know how to pronounce Salina in Kansas either. Thanks for letting me know you like my blog and photos, Don. I never tire of compliments!

  3. I had no idea there were so many different burros. How absolutely adorable!!! Love them!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Like I said, I didn’t know there were so many different types either. Each one is distinctive.

  4. Alison ~ pacific northwest says:

    That tiny burro is quite something! Sad to think of it in a circus though, maybe you can adopt it. It could fit right into the BLT with the crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The field is huge with a long line of fence. I drove one way and then turned around, taking photos both ways. When I approached the highway, Spike woke up, saw burros staring at us, and began barking like a maniac. Maybe one at a time he could make friends.

  5. cinandjules (NY) says:

    They are adorable.
    My favorite one are the gray short haired twins. Shaggy looks soft. Love the Rastafarian looking one too!

  6. Gaelyn says:

    Ever since reading Brighty of Grand Canyon and helping with a burro rescue I’ve been infatuated with these adorable and sometimes ornery animals. If I didn’t live in an RV I’d adopt one and train it to carry my pack on long hiking trips. What a delightful part of the day.

  7. Dominick Bundy says:

    Hi, Sue and Crew.. I don’t make comments too often. (I just like to sit in back and enjoy your posts) you already have a lot of readers that you respond to. But when I saw all those wild Burros . That took the cake. It gave me such a smile. I’ll probably wake up tomorrow still grinning. Oh how I wish I was there to see them in person..Good night and Cheers to you and the crew, Dominick

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I edited all my burro photos and put this post together right before going to bed last night. I usually wake up very slightly a few times during the night and, of course, I also wake up because my bladder only seems to work at night (!). Anyway, too much information . . . Every time I awoke, the first picture in my mind was burro faces. I was seeing burro faces all night.

      I enjoy hearing from you, Dominick. Cheers to you, too, from me, the crew, and . . . the burros!

  8. Donna in CT says:

    Wow. How exciting! They are so cool. I liked the shaggy one the best also. You find the greatest things for us to enjoy. Thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome.

      This was a day of pleasant surprises! The furthest thing from my mind when we set out on our excursion was 540 wild burros.

  9. Timber n' Rusty says:


  10. EmilyO in KS says:

    Oh they are adorable, just want to hug each one. Great discovery! And, like Don in Ok said, our Salina is pronounced the same way as the one in Utah, not like the one in Calif. And the county name is pronounced Saline (sa-leene). Can always tell the Californians.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Emily . . . I was pleased to see that the field is large enough to support such a large number of burros. They all looked healthy and alert.

  11. Rita says:

    Wow beautiful herd of donkeys…we use to own an ornery one when I was little. When we rode it, it would buck us off but it wasn’t too far to fall so we had a grand time the donkey and us. I think the donkey enjoyed it every bit as much as we did flying off the back cuz it would come back and stand very still has we climbed on and the donkey would surprise us somewhere on the ride to buck a few times till we flew off. All I remember is the hee haw, hee haw it made after it bucked. Wow your photos brought childhood memories! Can’t wait to see your next post!!! I’m sure Spike will make friends with the donkeys in no time if he was around them enough.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Rita . . . My blog seems to bring forth a lot of memories for you. I’m glad it does because I enjoy your recollections.

  12. AZ Jim says:

    When I was a kid, we lived next to a large dairy. I used to go out to the fence line and never once did I stay there long before I had several cows gathered around watching me. They are very curious critters. We had a couple of cows of our own which we milked and used the milk for drinking, ice cream, etc. Mom had an old fashioned churn she made butter in. I used to help her on the churning job. Lot’s of good memories….Thanks for today’s little trip.

    • AZ Jim says:

      PS The only bad thing about living with lot’s of cows is FLIES!!!!!! That was back in the flypaper days and I hated that as much as the flies. Dad hung those flypaper tubes in the barn and all our out buildings.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Jim. Sounds like my grandparents’ place in upstate NY where I spent my summers.

  13. rhodium says:

    I am reminded of Custer State Park in South Dakota. There is a section of the wildlife loop where burros hang out. They have patiently taught the drivers to give them food and will happily stick their heads into your car if you let them. You can get out and walk among them, although its a good idea to stay around their front. I love how they seem so calm.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, rhodium… I wrote a post about a day last summer when the crew and I were at Custer SP. It includes photos of burros poking their faces in the windows of the PTV. Boy, that was a fun day . . .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      If you’d like to watch the slideshow, click this link which will take you to the post titled “Bison, burros and pronghorns.”

      • rhodium says:

        Thanks, that brings back great memories. I reward myself with snippets of your past posts as I finish my work but I had not gotten to that section yet.

  14. rvsueandcrew says:

    I was wondering the same thing when I noticed the two “sleek” burros look like someone sheared their fur.

  15. Chuck says:

    Hi Sue! Burro hair is like horses, a winter coat which naturally sheds out (or can be brushed) with a summer, sleek look, coming in behind it in the spring. Iffen a shaggy look starts coming in late summer….a COLD winter comin! Being this is a roundup holding area, the shaggy one may have come in from high(colder altitude) and winter coat not shed yet. Hopefully a lot of these burros will get adopted, great to mix in various herds as they will protect them…they really go after coyotes, wildcats and even bears.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting information, Chuck. I have seen a lone burro with herds of sheep, goats, and horses. I’ve been waiting for someone to answer my question whether the fur falls off ( I knew it does but so perfectly?) or someone shears it off.

  16. Barb Brady from Washington says:

    Maybe the two sheared burros are the ones they use for PR? Perhaps they were the tamest ones of the bunch, or maybe they are permanent residents? It definitely looks like a shear job to me. It too neat and even to be the result of shedding.

  17. Karin Klarkowski-Damron says:

    Burros are amazing gentle creatures.. They come in all shapes sizes and colors.. From rare Mammoths and Poitou’s to mini’s to standard donkeys . Most under rated equine in my book.

    Is this a private ranch? Cannot be BLM or Burros in longterm holding.. No freeze brands and no number colors so would be very interested on what this place is called..

    Great job at documenting all theses beautiful longears

  18. colleen lomas says:

    I just loved those photos of the wild burros they are so lovely , we support the donkey sanctuary in devon England and just love donkeys I follow your tales and travels on facebook and love to see what you are doing

  19. Kerry says:

    Great pics Sue. I too, am traveling in a Casita and documenting the wild horse (and burro) drama going on throughout the west. Currently in NC to document the arrival of 9 BLM horses, some of whom I photographed in the wild right before they were gathered off the Checkerboard in WY.

    I should point out that these burros have been gathered off of BLM land in the desert west and as you mentioned are all available for adoption for next to nothing. They are part of a huge problem. Because horses and burros procreate prolifically, and because BLM is pressured by numerous factions to remove them, 2/3 of the Wild Horse and Burro budget is eaten up maintaining animals in long term holding, which deprives contraceptive programs and other management options from being implemented. Sadly, most of the long term holding areas are not as idyllic as the ones shown here.

    It’s a complex problem. My goal is to de-escalate the emotional ranting that sabotages cooperation and educate the public so that we can come together with real solutions for these wild horses and burros. If anyone is interested you can visit my website, to see photographs of wild horses on the range, and read the blog “Mustang Chronicles” to find out more about the issues facing wild horses and burros.

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