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Cody Field Office
Release Date: 02/25/11
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

Recent Incident Reminds Public to Keep Distance from Wild Horses

In light of a recent incident in the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cody Field Office reminds the public to always maintain a safe distance from wild horses.

On February 24, area residents notified the BLM that a foal appeared to have been abandoned by its mother in the McCullough Peaks HMA and was wandering alone along the fenceline near the highway. Ranger Ron Lewis and Range Management Specialist Jack Mononi arrived on the scene to find several people watching and photographing the colt at extremely close proximity.

Wild Horse Specialist Tricia Hatle can’t say for sure why the young foal was separated from its mother, but the crowd of people close by may have been preventing a reunion.

“In a stressful situation and in the absence of its mother, a foal will tend to be drawn to other movement or activity, like people standing nearby,” said Hatle. “However, with people so close, the mare is not likely to return for her foal.”

Indeed, just moments after Lewis and Mononi were able to move onlookers a couple thousand yards away, the foal trotted off in the direction of the band of horses. It was not seen again when Lewis returned to the area early the next morning and it is hoped that the foal and mare were reunited.

Hatle has seen an increase in the number of foal abandonments over the past ten years as the popularity of wild horse viewing in general, and the McCullough Peaks herd specifically, has increased.

“I’m happy that people have taken such an interest in the McCullough Peaks herd,” said Hatle, “but the best way to protect these horses and to keep them wild is to enjoy them from a distance.” Hatle recommends taking binoculars and a camera with a telephoto lens when looking for wild horses.

For more information, please contact BLM Wild Horse Specialist Tricia Hatle at 307-578-5900, or stop by the Cody Field Office at 1002 Blackburn Street.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Cody Field Office   1002 Blackburn Street      Cody, WY 82414  

Last updated: 02-25-2011