Our first extended stay in the Black Hills was during the summer of 2007. Because of western wildfires, we had delayed our trip out west until late August in the hopes that the fires would diminish during our travels into September. Unfortunately, the air was smoky for much of our time in South Dakota.
Custer State Parke has more large wildlife than most state parks and many federal parks. While buffalo are the most prominent, elk, mule deer, white tailed deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and mountain lions also inhabit the park. There is also a large population of feral burros1 (asses2). The burros are descendants of a herd that were used to carry visitors to the top of Harney Peak. When the rides were discontinued years ago, the burros were released into the park. They are known as “Begging Burros” for their propensity in getting food from park visitors.
1. burro: (noun) 1. The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild Ass, E. africanus. In the western United States, a small donkey is sometimes called a ”burro” (from the Spanish word for the animal).
2. ass: (noun) 1. A hoofed mammal of the horse family with a braying call, typically smaller than a horse and with longer ears
Custer State Park