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California Desert District Office
Release Date: 01/27/14
Contacts: Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email:    
News Release No. CA-CDD-14-22

Ridgecrest Corrals to Resume Horse and Burro Adoptions

The Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals will resume adopting animals as well as shipping and receiving animals effective immediately. Adoption activity resumes as Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials continue to work with state and federal animal health authorities to determine the cause of 16 horse fatalities at the corrals between November 2 and December 1, 2013. The fatalities appear to be related to a single but undetermined cause. During this period of time, slated adoptions were cancelled and animals were neither received nor shipped from the facility.

The problem does not appear to have been infectious or contagious. Analysis of samples from affected animals, hay samples and necropsy examinations conducted by the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory in San Bernardino proved negative for botulism, toxic weeds, heavy metals, bacterial or viral infections that would explain the clinical signs. Veterinarians suspect that a short duration exposure to a toxic plant or agent in contaminated hay may have caused the deaths, but could not be confirmed with laboratory testing.

"We are happy to resume adoptions and encourage the public to come out and visit the corrals not only to view the animals but also to adopt an animal as well!" stated Carl Symons, BLM Ridgecrest Field Manager.

For further information contact: Robert Pawelek, Resources Branch Chief, Ridgecrest Field Office, 760 384-5430; or Amy Dumas, California Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager, 916 978-4678.


California Desert District Office   22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553  

Last updated: 01-27-2014