Burros first came to Oatman with early day prospectors. The animals were also used inside the mines for hauling rock and ore. Outside the mines, burros were used for hauling water and supplied. As the mines closed and people moved away, the burros were released into the surrounding hills.
The burros you meet today in Oatman, while descendants of domestic work animals, are themselves wild. They will bite and kick. Please keep a safe distance from them. Wild burros are protected by federal law from capture, injury, or harassment. Help protect these living symbols of the old west.
-Text from a sign in town