Incident Summary on Foal Fatality Incident Aug. 18, 2011
On the 4th run, at about 10:30 a.m., a stud broke away, and a 4-month-old sorrel filly, followed the stud, from a group of animals being herded by helicopter about 1/2 mile from the wings of the trap. The pilot stayed with the remaining group, which included the foal's mare, herding them into the trap.
The stud ran about 500 yards and jumped over a barbed-wire pasture division fence. (The BLM doesn't use barbed-wire fencing at the trap wings or corrals or temporary holding corrals.)The pilot spotted the foal running back and forth along the fence, repeatedly trying to break through at an angle and being bounced off. The pilot landed near the fence and a contractor that had been riding with the pilot, jumped out and caught the foal to stop it from continuing to injure itself. The estimated time from when the pilot spotted the foal and the contractor grabbing the foal was about 5 minutes. The contractor radioed for a trailer to come and pick up the foal.
The foal was examined at the trap site by the on-site veterinarian and was found to have multiple lacerations. The BLM Contracting Officer's Representation (COR), in discussions with the vet, determined that the filly should be euthanized as an act of mercy.
Click here for necropsy report 8-17-11
High Resolution Photo of Foal in Temporary Holding Available for Closer Look
A low resolution photo posted by the BLM Nevada on Flickr (Aug. 13) showing wild horses in temporary holding corrals raised concerns when a section of the photo showing a foal was enlarged and it appeared that the foal was tied by up its neck. The BLM has posted the original high resolution photo on our website, including a cropped high resolution version. People are encouraged to take a closer look at the photo, which shows the foal isn't tied up, it has a band of lighter colored hair along its neck, matching the color of the hair on its muzzle.
Click here for photos of the foal.
Start of Gather
The BLM Elko District, Wells Field Office; and BLM Ely District, Egan Field Office initiated the Triple B, Maverick Medicine, and Antelope Valey HMA Wild Horse Gather on July 20, 2011.
Starting Friday, July 22 there will be a fixed-wing aircraft in the area associated with the gather contractor. The fixed-wing will be used to scout, and will not be used to herd animals. The fixed-wing will fly high enough to not disturb animals.
Goal of Gather
The goal of the Triple B, Maverick-Medicine, and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas (HMA) Wild Horse Gather is to gather and remove approximately 1,726 excess wild horses from in and around the HMAs, and the Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory (WHT) located approximately 30 miles northwest of Ely and 70 miles southeast of Elko, Nev., beginning in July.
At the time of the proposed gather, it is estimated that the population will be more than 1,460 wild horses in the Triple B HMA where the AML is 250-518 wild horses; 636 wild horses in the Maverick-Medicine HMA where the AML is 166-276 wild horses; 28 wild horses in the portion of the Antelope Valley HMA west of U.S. Highway 93 where the AML is 16-27 wild horses; and 74 wild horses in the Cherry Springs WHT where the AML is 40-68 wild horses. The estimate includes the 2011 foal crop. Wild horse numbers fluctuate between the HMAs and WHT, based on seasonal movement.
Details of the Gather
More information will be posted as it becomes available. Click here to view the gather report.
Wild horses removed from the HMAs and WHT will be made available for adoption. Animals for which there is no adoption demand will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any horses to slaughter.
The BLM Ely District, Egan Field Office administers the Triple B HMA. The Elko District, Wells Field Office administers the Maverick-Medicine HMA and the portion of the Antelope Valley HMA west of U.S. Highway 93. The Cherry Spring WHT is managed in accordance with an Interagency Agreement between the BLM and United States Forest Service.
For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 866-468-7826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.