The Bureau of Land Management started three “emergency gathers” of wild burros Friday along the Coloardo River. The gathers, which started in Bullhead City Friday and will continue next week in Cibola and the Parker Strip, come after recent community discussions about a string of incidents involving burros.
BLM officials say approximately 470 animals are expected to be gathered from the three areas and transported to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro facility in Florence, Arizona, and Ridgecrest, Calif., where they will be prepared for possible adoption.
BLM spokeswoman Valerie Gohlke says the agency will use “slow” fence traps in which burros wander in and out over a period of several days as the gates eventually draw to a close.
Property owners, particularly in the Bullhead City area, have complained about burros wandering around residential neighborhoods and in roadways. The burros in the Parker Strip area are primarily on the California side of the Colorado River.
The BLM said in January that the agency was concerned about the rising number of burros in the region, and that populations needed to be contained to ensure the health of the herds and the sustainability of grazing lands.
The BLM says there should be a maximum of 1,676 wild burros in Arizona. As of 2017, there were an estimated 6,241 burros roaming throughout the Grand Canyon State.
As a possible long-term solution, the agency is researching a contraceptive program within the Black Mountain Herd Management Area. The project is testing the effectiveness of a contraceptive on female burros. The five-year sterilization study is expected to wrap up in 2022.
For information on how to adopt a wild horse or burro, visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro.