Friday, October 1, 2010

BLM Wild Horses and Burros

On a recent trip through Northeastern California, we drove by a Bureau of land Management holding facility for Wild Horses and Burros. So of course, we stopped.

The corrals were full, because a round-up in the Twin Peaks area had just been completed, with more than 1600 horses and 160 burros (donkeys) rounded up. All of the horses and burros are available for adoption for $125 each.

Some of the nice-looking horses available.

BLM gathers are a hot-button, controversial topic right now. Not only the fact that horses are being injured with helicopter round-ups, but also the solution to what, exactly, we should do to with the more than 38,000 wild horses and burros that currently roam government lands, as well as the approximately 35,000 previously rounded up animals currently kept in corrals and holding facilities throughout the country. Especially when you think about how many domestic horses are already in need of homes, all over the country.

There is no difference between a burro and a donkey. Different name for the same animal.

Here are a few of the wild burros that will be seeking new homes. These are all jacks (males.) The females with young foals were on the opposite side of the facility, and not available for viewing on the day we stopped in.

Some of these will be transported to adoption facilities in other areas of the country, and the lucky ones will find homes.

But how many homes are available? These are all nice looking donkeys (same thing as a burro, just different terminology.)

I know one thing. Even though I raised donkeys for a number of years, I will never breed another one.

For more pictures of the horses and burros at the Twin Lakes gather, you can go here.

Keep your ears open. There are plans in the works of Wild Horse Sanctuaries in Nevada, New Mexico, and possibly other states. It may take some time for this to come together, but I think it would be a much better solution rather than trying to find individual homes for each of these animals.

How many of you have actually seen a band of wild horses? How many of you would drive to a Wild Horse Sanctuary, to see wild horses as they behave in the wild? I know that I would.


Danette said...

I'd go visit a wild horse sanctuary! What a great idea. :) I have followed these roundups for a couple of years and been fascinated by the quality and beauty of some of these horses and donkeys. If I knew more about donkeys I'd consider taking one.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Oh, this breaks my heart. I would absolutely visit a wild horse sanctuary--and support it in every way that I could. Poor babies. Thank you for drawing attention to this. Love the horses and burros.

Linda Benson said...

Danette and Cynthia - Thanks for commenting. I do think it's important for the general public to become aware of all these animals, and I think many of us would be fascinated to see horses (and burros/donkeys) in the wild. Ever watched the Cloud series on PBS -about the wild stallion Cloud, and his family in the wild? Absolutely riveting.

A Wild Horse Sanctuary, open to the public, would be such a valuable learning tool into horse behavior, as well as a thrill to watch them run wild. I sincerely hope that some of these plans come to fruition.