Big Bear’s burros… Their big ears and furry coats make them some of the cutest residents in town. Burros have been in Big Bear since the early 1900’s. Most of the population today are ancestors of burros who escaped from miners, movie sets or the famous Old Miner’s Day burro races that were started in the 1950s. The burro races were the main event at the Old Miner’s Day celebrations until the ASPCA put a stop to them in the 80s. Men would race their burros approximately 40 miles from the desert up through Holcomb Valley and into Fawnskin.
Several years ago the burros were removed from the Big Bear Valley and relocated for their safety and to thin out the growing population. Eventually they found their way back home. It is not uncommon to see the burros if you are out in the east end of the valley. And if you don’t see them, you will usually hear them “hee-hawing” early in the morning or late at night.
The burros are highly intelligent animals and can defend themselves with a very powerful kicks from both their front and hind legs. They can run almost as fast a horse. Big Bear’s burros prefer a the semi-arid climate, with cool winters and warm summers. They can go for long periods of time without water as they can get it from the foilage they eat. Adult burros weigh about 500 pounds. The female burros, called Jennies, have one foal per year, and boy are they cute. Keep an eye out for them around late spring/early summer.