URGENT UPDATE 01/24/24 AFTERNOON: I'M SADDENED TO REPORT THAT THE CODY BLM KILLED A YOUNG FILLY DURING THE BAIT TRAPPING. SHE WAS ONE OF THE FOUR TRAPPED AND REMOVED ON MONDAY. THE BLM REPORTED IN THEIR DAILY GATHER REPORT IN THE AFTERNOON OF 01/24/24 THAT ONE YEARLING SORREL "MARE" DIED DUE TO AN ACUTE HEAD INJURY. IT APPEARS SHE DIED DURING PREPARATION FOR SHIPMENT TO THE ROCK SPRINGS WILD HORSE HOLDING FACILITY. I HAVEN'T SEEN WHAT HORSES WERE TAKEN, SO I CAN'T BE CERTAIN, BUT THERE ARE ONLY TWO YOUNG SORREL "MARES" IN THIS AGE GROUP, KAT BALLOU AND JULES. KAT BALLOU AND HER MOTHER, KEOTA, ARE PICTURED ABOVE FROM 2023. IT'S HEARTBREAKING TO KNOW THAT ONE OF THESE YOUNGSTERS LOST THEIR LIVES AT THE HANDS OF THE BLM FOR NO GOOD REASON. THE BLM SHOULD STOP THIS ROUNDUP NOW BEFORE MORE OF OUR PRECIOUS HORSES ARE KILLED.
The Daily Gather Report for the McCullough Peaks horses has just been updated for today and it states that only three of the four horses captured this week were shipped because one yearling sorrel mare died due to an acute head injury. I haven't seen what horses were taken so I can't know for sure, but there are only two young sorrel mares in this age group, Kat Ballou and Jules. Kat Ballou and her mother, Keota, are pictured below in 2023. Neither of these fillies should have ever been taken from their families and neither should be dead right now.
Just hours after I sent out my blog yesterday, the BLM announced that they had trapped and removed 4 horses from the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) on Monday, 01/22/24. Specifically, they captured 10 horses, returned 6 to the range and removed 4 from the range. You can see their announcement below which was shared on their social media pages. Like many of you, this is the news I've been dreading for the last year.
Although the BLM did not specify which horses were removed, we do know from the photo accompanying the BLM post, that the horses removed were taken from the west-side trap along Whistle Creek Road. Horses frequenting that area are the Red Point Herd and the stallion, San Jose’s group. I took the photo below early in the morning on 01/22/24, before any horses were removed by the BLM. It shows members of the Red Point herd in and around the trap site. As mentioned in yesterday's blog, these horses had been padlocked inside the North Pasture and had been frequenting the trap for feeding.
With sadness in my heart, I visited the range today, 01/24/24, to see if I could find out which horses were removed. Not surprisingly, all the horses had disappeared. I’m sure the traumatic events of Monday terrified them. I can’t even imagine how frantic they were seeing members of their family taken away from them forever. I viewed the west side trap from the roadway and noticed some red netting on the trap that had not been there before. Perhaps the netting was used to isolate the horses that were removed from the range from the horses that were returned, but that's just conjecture on my part.
As I was leaving the range, I did see two horses atop a hill off in the distance and imagine that may be where the horses are hiding for now. I hope they stay on that hill indefinitely, but I believe once their memory fades, they could return to the trap to feed.
As soon as I can confirm the identities of the horses removed, I will let you know. That may take some time as I believe the horses are very frightened and will stay hidden for a while, but I'll continue to check on them in the coming days. You can visit the BLM's "McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Bait Trap Gather" Page for updates on the bait trapping operation. The Daily Gather Report at the bottom of the page, should be updated by the BLM whenever horses are removed. In this recent instance, the Daily Gather Report was updated the following day.
Thanks to all of you for your support of the wild horses of McCullough Peaks. I know it’s incredibly heartbreaking that four of our McCullough Peaks horses have been taken from their home, but the herd still needs us. Please keep them in your thoughts and continue to send positive affirmations their way. Thank you!