What’s Up With the Roaming Donkeys at Eleven Mile State Park?
When visiting Colorado's parks and open spaces, it's pretty common to come across many different forms of wildlife. Animals like deer and elk are frequently seen at these places – but during the spring, summer, and fall at Eleven Mile State Park another unlikely species roam the area that guests can be on the lookout for.
Every year, a herd of free-roaming donkeys makes its way into the 7,662-acre park, feeding on the grassy meadows and taking advantage of the water from the reservoir too.
Although there are various fences and gates throughout the park's grounds, the donkeys pay no mind and are often seen wandering in the middle of the roads. The burros are even known to come right up to vehicles and stick their heads in windows. In 2019, park visitors were actually warned about the donkeys, after two were sadly killed by a driver over Labor Day weekend.
Last summer, a group of us were driving back from night fishing around midnight near the reservoir and several donkeys were running right alongside our car, so it's unfortunately easy to see how they could get hit if someone wasn't expecting them to be there.