Meet the Oatman Burros!
Desert Wonder Tours offers Historical Oatman Gold Mine Town tours including from Laughlin, NV to Oatman, from Las Vegas to Oatman, from Lake Havasu City to Oatman, & from Kingman to Oatman. So you can tour with Desert Wonder Tours in comfort and meet the Oatman Burros in person from several locations!
Deep into the Black Mountains of Arizona lies a small village nestled into the side of the mountain. Named for a young Illinois girl who was captured by Indians, Olive Oatman, the town was once a booming gold mining town. The main road to Oatman is the famous historical Route 66. Before it was bypassed in 1953, Rt. 66 was a mountain pass road catering to drivers between Kingman, AZ and Needles, CA.
In 1915, a $10M gold find created a boom that lasted until 1924 with the town growing to a population of more than 3,500 in the first year. For about a decade, the Oatman mines were among the largest in gold production in the West. Due to the rough terrain in the region, the preferred beasts of burden were burros who were able to subsist on the dry desert grasses, were hardy and sure-footed. As pack animals, they could handle heavy loads for provisions, ore, and equipment needed by the miners. The “wild” burros frequenting the streets of Oatman are direct descendants of the Gold Miners who set the animals free when the mines shut down. Most of these burros keep to themselves in one of the several herds throughout the mountains and surrounding desert, but a few of them come into town every day. Others are “wanderers” who visit the village now and again.
Long time Oatman resident and local business owner, Kathy Jenkins, puts it aptly:
“The Oatman Burros are Oatman. From Our first named Burro Hoover to Baby Hank, the burros have been the highlight of many visitors trips to Oatman. Walking the streets shopping, having lunch and loving on the burros makes your visit complete.”
Kathy runs the Oatman Burros Rehab and Recovery Sanctuary, a non-profit who’s Mission Statement is poignant:
We are their voice! It’s critical to be prepared to step up for the burros wherever and whenever they need us.
Burros currently at the Sanctuary:
These beloved burros are known as “The Magnificent Seven“.
Meet Walter ~ Oatman’s Mayor
Walter was born July 5th, 2019. Walter’s mother lacked enough maternal instincts to care for him. Walter was adopted by a great family. After he was grown, the people of Oatman elected Walter as their mayor. Follow Walter’s New Life on his Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/walterthewonderdonk/
and his website to find unique Walter merch: https://walterthewonderdonkey.com/
Meet the Mainstreet Burros
The Oatman burros share common lineage but each has unique special personality & traits. Here are some of the burros you may see when you visit Oatman:
Destiny (Dusty) 09/02/2015
Destiny and Darrel are best friends. Destiny is one of Dusty’s babies and took after her momma in the good mom category. She absolutely loves a good butt scratch! Destiny is Walter’s grandma.
Hazel (Peanut) 3/8/2014
Hazel is quiet and shy. She loves hay cubes and butt scratches but is also ok with just sitting back, watching the happenings in town and searching for hay cubes that someone dropped. Hazel is very protective of Destiny and Darrell.
Nikki 12/28/11 (Peanut)
Nikki is a character. She is April’s sidekick and BFF! Together, they walk Main Street searching for the next unsuspecting visitor to steal a bag from! She has a very old soul and is an absolute sweetheart.
Oliver 09/05/2016 (Cookie)
Oliver is the Alpha Jack of the Oatman Herd. When BLM made their list of burros who would remain during the 2020 roundup, Oliver was selected because of his beautiful coloring. If you look closely, Oliver has a heart on his right haunch.
Annabelle 8/25/17 (Nikki )
Annabelle is an absolutely beautiful Burro inside and out. She has a heart of gold and is an amazing mommy to Hank. Annabelle is Tinkerbell’s mommy and was torn apart when Tinkerbell was kidnapped and while she tried when she was returned became estranged from her. When she gave birth to Hank in October of 2020, the glimmer in her eyes returned.]
Hank (Annabelle) 10/05/2020
Hank is the baby of the Oatman Herd. Boy is this youngster a firecracker! He keeps his momma, the shop owners and visitors on their toes with his mischievous ways! Hank is Tinkerbell’s baby brother.
Pickles (Hazel) 05/27/2016
Pickles is one of our wandering burros. A bit over a year ago, she left Oatman with her son Smokey &a few of the other Oatman Burros. Pickles has not return to Oatman but has been spotted near the Narrows near Bullhead & in the Laughlin Ranch area. So keep your eyes open if you’re traveling from Laughlin to Oatman!
A Tribute to Duke
Gone but not forgotten.
Duke was an amazing Alpha to the Oatman Herd. He was so gentle with the girls and was an amazing mentor for the jacks. He was hit by a local and passed away Nov 15th, 2020
Come and meet the amazing “wild” Oatman Burros. They will all be your favorites!
* Desert Wonder Tours is 5 Star rated on TripAdvisor Featured in Laughlin Entertainer Magazine and the Kingman Daily Miner
Contact Desert Wonder Tours here to see the Oatman Burros in person!
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