In Oatman, Arizona, burros are likely to nuzzle with tourists and are notoriously difficult to move out of harm’s way. 18 burros have been shot and killed in the last five years. Photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.
by PETER O’DOWD
In the desert outside of Phoenix, there have been 18 shootings in the last five years, a series of mysteries that has stumped federal investigators.
Let’s be clear, we’re talking about donkeys: specifically, wild burros, the federally protected asses of the Old West. In late January, out among the desert scrub and beavertail cactus, two from the Lake Pleasant herd were found dead.
“We consider that a murder scene,” says Steve Bird, a burro specialist with the .
Thirty-five miles northwest of Phoenix, the dirt road stops at a gate. This is where someone took aim, with skill.
“One bullet hole per animal, right set in the lungs,”…