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wild burrows in death valley?

Elgin Illinois
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wild burrows in death valley?

Hi there. Was interested in information about the donkeys where can you find them, are they friendly,can you feed them, We had an experience with wild burrows in custer state park in south dakota that was fun and would like to see if this would be also.

Tucson, Arizona
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for Dusseldorf
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1. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

Most of the burrows have been removed. It is illegal and immoral and unethical to feed any beast in Death Valley be it a bird or a donkey. Sorry to say this, but if you want to feed a donkey, buy one. Don't ocme to the park.

ZB

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

The general rule of thumb for wildlife in National Parks ~ if what you are doing is changing their behavior, then you're too close. Don't feed, touch, harass, follow, put your kid on (neither deer nor bison, and it's been tried!), herd, challenge, poke (rattlesnakes don't like to be poked) or in any way affect the animal. The exceptions I know of ~ catching fish and making loud noises to keep bears away from people areas. (Anyone know of others?)

State Parks often have different rules.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

For years, the NPS has been gradually removing burros from Death Valley. They are a non-native species, descendants of those brought in by 19th century prospectors. Several round-ups have been held, which are pretty interesting. Federal land agencies supply helicopters that are used to drive the critters into smaller areas where horseback wranglers herd them into pens. For years, the burros were auctioned by the Bureau of Land Management to become pets or working animals; the sales contracts forbade using or selling them for animal or human consumption.

Burros do a lot of damage to native vegetation, and they intimidate some of the native wildlife. Bighorn sheep, a native species, don't do well with burros in the same area. They are not the most well-mannered guests, and will trample waterholes that other creatures depend on. It is illegal to feed any animals in national parks, including birds, reptiles, fish, etc. Feeding makes them nuisances, because they lose their fear of humans and spend their time begging around resorts or camps instead of feeding themselves. An animal that gets accustomed to being fed will probably eventually end up being euthanized.

If you want to see burros around the DV area, the best spot I've found is on Hwy 374, just east of the park boundary. This is the road to Beatty. Somehow they must sense that they need to stay outside the park! On several occasions, I've seen groups of half a dozen burros hanging out there. This area is under the Bureau of Land Management, and I think they are more lax about what people do on their land (maybe that's why national parks often seem cleaner and less trashed than BLM lands).

Also, a town in Arizona called Oatman has wild burros wandering the streets. They are part of the local landscape, and stores used to sell carrots for people to feed the burros. I don't know if they still do. Oatman is in the mountains on old Route 66 west of Kingman and is a popular touristy ghost town.

Stoke on Trent...
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4. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

I can confirm that Oatman does indeed have the burros, or it did in June anyway. They are not shy about coming forward and one had it's head in the boot (sorry trunk) of the car while we were getting things out. Another was stood inbetween two of the gun fighters who were putting on a show, not in the least bothered by the loud bangs. We were warned though that they can bite and kick if they are not getting food so need to be treated with great caution, they may appear friendly, but all they want is food.

Oatman is only about a 40min drive West of Kingman and a lovely drive it is too if you are in the area.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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5. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

Thanks for the update, blue. Allowing bare a**es (would you believe this was censored and I had to edit it?) on the streets is a longtime Oatman tradition. They are fun and visitors enjoy them. But what you said is a good lesson about getting cozy with any kind of wild animals: they are WILD.

What they want is food, and they will put up with a lot to get it (camera flashes, teasing by kids, etc.) When we pet them, put our kids on them for photos, etc., we risk injury that may not be the animal's intent, but they're so focused on the food that they may become aggressive or defensive or make sudden moves. Even "cute" or "friendly" critters (and burros or deer certainly qualify) can do some major damage; in Yosemite some years ago, a young deer fatally kicked a boy whose parents had let him get too close to "Bambi." Even very small animals can carry rabies or plague, or just give painful bites or scratches.

Kids need to be taught to respect animals--as other forms of life and fellow travelers on the earth, and as potential sources of injury or illness. When feeding is allowed, they should keep their fingers together and put the food on their palm like on a plate--not hold it in extended fingers that could end up as part of the snack.

Any wild animal that grows too dependent on people will become the equivalent of a panhandler. From human nature, we know that people who stay on the dole too long often lose the desire to find jobs and work for a living. So do animals. The difference in society's response is that with people, we just keep them on the dole while making politically correct token gestures at addiction rehab or job training; with animals, we label them as pests and kill them.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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6. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

Another almost sure bet to see lots of burros, and closer to DV, is the Marietta wild burro range in Nevada, which is under the BLM. It's west of Tonopah and east of just about nothing, within the "Y" formed by Hwys 95 and 6 as they branch off from Coaldale Junction.

Marietta has another DV connection. It is on Teel's Marsh, a desert saline marsh which was where the king of Death Valley borax, Francis Marion "Borax" Smith, got his start as a miner. Well, as a borax miner; he had migrated west from Wisconsin after the Civil War and dabbled in precious ore mining in Montana, Utah, and a few other places, discovered he made a better cook than miner, and drifted into Nevada around 1870. He settled at Teel's Marsh and began poking around in the whitish salty marsh, had the goop assayed, and lost interest in gold. He began exploring for borax all around eastern NV and then ended up going partners with the then owner of Harmony Borax, a S.F. merchant named William T. Coleman. The rest is history--which I've researched and written about for the park and for the company that grew from his one-man show to become the world's largest producer of borate mineral products. "Borax" Smith's story is fascinating and he's one my heroes of Western American history.

But I digress. Teel's Marsh is a good place to see one of the cradles of U.S. borax mining. Marietta is a ghost town with 3-4 residents and scads of old stone ruins and foundations, including F.M. Smith's general store, an old borax smelter, and a graveyard. In a number of visits, I have almost always seen several burros. Other old borax, silver, and railroad settlement are nearby, including Spdaville, Belleville, Columbus, and one of the best western NV ghost towns, Candelaria.

You can look up other ghost towns as well as Marietta on this website.

www.ghosttowns.com/states/nv/marietta.html

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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7. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

** "Other old borax, silver, and railroad settlement are nearby, including Spdaville" **

Just noticed my typo. This should be Sodaville, which is on Hwy 95 south of Mina.

Marietta, Belleville, Columbus, and Candelaria are off the main highway. All should be accessible in a regular car, although I'd be wary about Marietta and Teel's Marsh in snowy weather with 2wd because there is a dirt road with a steep grade just before the ghost town that may get a little precarious.

Vancouver...
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8. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

SOOoo; do not interact with other than human species in the wilds? Sort of like Star Treck's Non-Intervention rule? Chuck...

9. Re: wild burrows in death valley?

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