DEATH VALLEY CRITTERS? If you were playing a trivia game, and you had to name animals seen around Death Valley National Park, you might first cite that small superstar of the water, the amazing pupfish. Desert tortoises, too, are famous around the arid destination, as are beautiful bighorn sheep. But burros? They might not spring to mind immediately, but the large animals do roam certain corners of massive and remote region. And they've been seen in greater numbers recently, with the reopening of the national park, specifically "in the Wildrose area," per a July 6 social media post. Which means that if you're thinking of taking a road trip through Death Valley, which began its reopening process in late June following a multi-month coronavirus closure, be aware that several burros may be on the move.
THE BURROS.. "are not native" to the national park; rather, they're descended from the animals brought in by long-ago prospectors who combed the desert for riches. Due to the burros' "large impact" on the local environment, "(p)ark management is working with a non-profit no-kill sanctuary to help control burro populations through humanely capturing animals and transferring them to facilities where they receive medical care, training, and are adopted out." To read more about the burros, visit this page now. And do take care to drive with the knowledge that you may see a burro crossing the desert road ribboning dramatically before you. But before traveling to this wonderland of craggy mountains, spectacular vistas, and a nightly blanket of stars? Be sure to check the California travel advisories first.