Meet Dr. Luke
Luke is a charismatic and sweet burro who is estimated to have been born in 2012. Luke was captured from Black Mountain, Arizona and came to live at Return to Freedom’s sanctuary with some of his friends in 2015. The Black Mountain burros explore every bit of 2,000 acres in the rolling oak-studded hills in San Luis Obispo, California at RTF’s San Luis Obispo sanctuary.
Luke is fond of human interaction and will pause a while with visitors while his shyer friends watch from a safe distance.
The burros living in the Black Mountain HMA in Arizona are the largest burro herd still remaining in America. They are enjoyed by millions of tourists and the local community as they range along the historic Route 66 and explore the old mining town of Oatman Arizona.
At 1.1 million acres, the Black Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) is one of the largest burro HMAs in the U.S. The BLM estimates that the burro population reached more than 2,000 in this area.
In 1996, the BLM’s Black Mountain Ecosystem Plan authorized livestock grazing in the area and established an Appropriate Management Level (AML) for burros of a mere 382-478. Currently, the BLM estimates the number of burros in Black Mountain to be about 1600 so it is currently a genetically viable healthy wild burro population. Sadly, the BLM wants to reduce the population by 73%, within AML.