Video: Three Wild Burros Shot to Death in AZ, Reward Offered

by Vivian Padilla as published on ABC 15

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PHOENIX – The Bureau of Land Management is offering a reward after three female burros were found shot to death just south of Lake Pleasant.

According to officials, the three wild burros were intentionally killed in the Morgan City Wash. Two burros were shot in the head, one was shot in the stomach.

The animals were discovered by a citizen in late May. The decomposing bodies of the three burros were located on private land that falls within the BLM’s Lake Pleasant Herd Management Area.

Wild burros are protected from killing or harassment per the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact BLM at 800-637-9152. Calls are confidential. A $2,500 reward is being offered if information leads to an arrest or conviction.

Also of Interest:

“Lake Pleasant Wild Burro Herd Area is about an hour drive south/east of where Mohave County District Supervisor Steve Moss recently proposed hunting licenses to offset the over-abundant burro population in the area. If I was the investigator for these burro killings, I would start my investigation with Supervisor Moss and his buddies.”

Mohave County supervisor proposes burro hunting

Mohave County District Supervisor Steve Moss is proposing hunting licenses to offset the over-abundant burro population in the area.

Baby Wild Burros Captured and Imprisoned by the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Baby Wild Burros Captured and Imprisoned by the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management estimates there are between 1,400 and 1,800 burros in Mohave County, and supervisors said they want to see that number reduced to 817. This is still well above BLM’s recommendation of 478 burros for the region.

The proposal is on the agenda for Tuesday’s county supervisor meeting, but Moss said it was placed as a way to spark a reaction from the BLM.

“No one truly wants to hunt Burros, including the board of supervisors. And even if we did, neither the local nor state government has the power to issue permits,” Moss’s office said in a statement. “What we want is the BLM to come up with a solution, regardless of what it might be. We are hoping that the ‘shock’ value of the agenda item will motivate the BLM to direct the funding required towards adoption, sterilization, removal and relocation, fencing, etc. programs.”

Moss said if the BLM does not take long-term action to control the burro population, the county will pursue legal action against the Bureau for not carrying out its statutory duties outlined in The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

“With that law, the federal government tied our hands as far as what we could do to control the burro population and gave the authority over to the BLM,” Moss said. “The legislation says it’s the BLM’s responsibility to control the burro herds but they’ve broken that promise and they’re not taking care of it.”

BLM Public Affairs Specialist Jayson Barangan said efforts to manage burro numbers have already been enacted, but it takes time to find the right solution.

“The situation [in Mohave County] has had our attention for a while and I think that with our toolkit and with our partnerships we’re trying to find a balanced approach to manage these animals,” Barangan said.

The BLM routinely rounds up wild burros for its Adopt a Wild Horse or Burro Program, and is currently conducting an environmental analysis to study the feasibility of antifertility inoculations.

“We’re working with some partners on a trial run on some fertility treatments of animals, but that hasn’t been set in stone yet,” Barangan said.

Still, Moss remains unimpressed with the BLM’s “token efforts” to control the burro population in the wake of numerous motorcycle and vehicle accidents involving burros.

“It’s only a matter of time until a burro goes through someone’s windshield and kills a family,” Moss said.

The BLM has placed fencing along Mohave County highways to dissuade burros from wandering into traffic, but the county still has the largest burro herd in the U.S., which is running out of space to roam.

“There is plenty of BLM land they can relocate the burros to,” Moss said. “I hope the BLM does that, or anything else, to get the local numbers under control as the current population is out of whack from what the habitat can support and is threatening public safety as the numbers are forcing the Burros to expand their range into Bullhead City and occupied subdivisions.”


  1. Yes, I would for sure start the investigation for these burro killings with Mohave Supervisor Moss and his “associates” since it was his suggestion that wild burros be hunted.


    (only a partial list below)

    Saturday, October 19th 2013
    by Associated Press
    PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) Authorities in central Oregon say three more wild horses have been found fatally shot in an area east of Prineville where three other horses were found dead last weekend.
    Crook County Sheriff’s Sgt. Travis Jurgens said deputies who went to the area Friday with law enforcement officers from the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to continue the earlier investigation came upon the additional carcasses.
    The animals were killed in the Ochoco National Forest about 30 miles east of Prineville. Hunters reported finding the first three horses.
    Forest Service officers went to the area last Sunday and found two adult horses and an adolescent.
    KTVZ-TV reported that Forest Service Capt. Dan Smith said one of those initial horses was found barely alive with mortal injuries and an officer euthanized it.
    In the spring of 2011, six wild horses were fatally shot in the Ochocos. No arrests have been made in that case despite a $4,000 reward.

    October 18, 2013
    Daniel Young admitted to killing six wild burros but in a plea bargain with BLM, pleaded guilty to shooting one wild burro near his family ranch in mid-Nevada. The wild burros belonged to the citizens of the United States and were federally protected by the unanimously passed Congressional Wild Horse and Burro ACT of 1971. In addition to the six wild burros admittedly killed by Young, numerous other burros have been reportedly shot in this same Hickison/Austin area in past years.
    Although the laws states that “If convicted … the perpetrator may be subject to a fine of up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year for each violation”, Young got away with only 1 year probation, a $2000 fine and 100 hours community service as his “punishment”. But the burros are still dead.


    Primm Nevada MOJAVE DESERT: Reward offered in burro death
    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is offering $1,000 reward for information on who killed and butchered a wild burro
    Published: Jan. 29, 2013 8:24 p.m.
    The federal government is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever killed and butchered a wild burro on public land in northeast San Bernardino County.
    A biologist found the carcass earlier this month in the Ivanpah Valley, near the site of a solar energy project under construction next to Interstate 15 a few miles from Primm, Nevada.
    The animal appeared to have been cut up at the site for its meat, said David Briery, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman. Whoever killed the burro left behind its head and ribcage.
    Burros are protected under the federal Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The law makes it illegal to kill them.
    We are working with other agencies to bring the responsible parties to justice and hope members of the public will provide us with helpful information, said Amy Dumas, a BLM wild horse and burro specialist, in a news release.
    Anyone with information about the dead burro can contact Chief Ranger Brad Baron at 760-326-7000.

    Rangers found on March 13, 2012, six dead burros. Five adult animals were shot, one foal died when the jenny (mother) was killed. The evidence collected indicates other animals may have been shot. The investigation is ongoing. The incident occurred within the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Lake Pleasant Herd Management Area

    (four separate killings – Nevada and California)
    11 Wild Horses and Burros Shot To Death in Last Three Months – BLM Offers $10,000 Reward
    The BLM is investigating the shooting deaths of nearly a dozen wild horses and burros in four separate incidents in California and Nevada since late January. The agency announced on Monday that it was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters.
    The most recent killings, discovered on April 9, involved one horse and two burros on BLM land near Black Rock Canyon in Pershing County, Nevada, about 150 miles northeast of Reno. Five days earlier, two wild horses were found shot to death in Lassen County, California, near the Nevada border. Six other mustangs were killed earlier in northern Nevada — three in Eureka County in January and three in Lander County in February.



  3. That would add up to a $300,000 fine
    Is there a Secret Witness Program?

    In partnership with the BLM and through the Sentencing Reform Act of 1988, ISPMB helped to enact higher fines for inhumane treatment and violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse And Burro Act in the Federal District of Arizona.
    Penalties of up to $100,000 per animal, per offense and/or up to one year in jail
    are unsurpassed as compared with other federal districts or state humane laws.


  4. “It’s only a matter of time until a burro goes through someone’s windshield and kills a family.” Maybe Moss, but did you ever take into consideration that drunk drivers and people who text while they drive pose a far more substantial “safety concern” than wild burros ever have and ever will? How about shifting your focus towards the real problem? And why not make more people aware of the fact that feeding wild animals is illegal and endangers them? Also, the whole “shock value” technique is nothing more than a publicity stunt that makes your cause look childish and radical to individuals who think straight. Now we have people without a conscience most likely taking your fake proposal seriously and going out to kill these animals for fun. We hope that you will denounce the actions of the perpetrator(s) and think twice before making foolish remarks just to get attention.


    • Starry, I balked at that comment, too, since it suggested burros were somehow intentionally planning to commit suicide and take out whole families as part of some evil scheme. Do we hear such rants about other species, including the one most likely to kill people in vehicles – other human beings? I was taught in driver’s ed that it is on the driver to be observant and drive safely, and “failure to observe” is a major source of accidents and traffic tickets. Is that somehow excused if there are wild horses and burros involved?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. WHY are the Burros crossing the road?

    Mohave County Supervisors to discuss SHOOTING WILD BURROS on Jan. 19th at 9:30 am in KINGMAN, AZ
    Jan 14. 2016

    Black Mountain wild burros (photo: Marjorie Farabee)
    by Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation
    Shooting our wild burros is not an option! (ACTION ALERT BELOW)
    The threat:
    “District 5 Sup. Steve Moss is asking staff to contact the Bureau of Land Management to reduce the burro population to 817. One option is to seek legislation to allow state agencies to issue hunting permits to bring the population under control. Another option is to file a lawsuit against BLM.”

    However, the fact is:
    The Bullhead Parkway is in between the burros and the river, where the burros need to get water to survive.
    Map showing that Bullhead Parkway is in between the burros and the river.…

    1. donkeyscando
    January 17, 2016 @ 9:58 PM Edit
    The area of land that is Bullhead City was a part of the original HA. A whole three mile wide section running down the bank of the river was carved away. It is glutenous inconsideration for the natural world that city planners would not include wildlife in their infrastructure planning. The land, that was once set aside for the principal use by our wild horses and burros, means the burros needs should have been included in all city planning. The knowledge that they were building where protected wild burros live should have made the burro’s access to water an imperative.


  6. This started when the BLM handed in erroneous numbers from their aerial count of 9 days which I recently learned was spread over a 6 month period. They inflated numbers by 70% over a two year period prior to this count. Thus, the 70 plus burros they can prove they saw with photos added to their field notes of a few hundred suddenly became 1378 which is still an abysmally low number for an hma of one million acres. This number was further inflated by Moss and AZ Game and Fish (AZGF). Moss tried to bring a vote for allowing hunting burros but it was tabled due to public outcry. All of this happened just prior to the shootings of these burros. I am sure the delay in reporting is due to an attempt to separate the events. AZGF wants the burros gone. So do Moss, Flake and McCain. The states must never gain control of our public lands. Our wild hearts would be doomed.~Marjorie Farabee


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