Meanwhile in Arizona, there’s a black foal growing up without the fear of helicopters..
Moonshadow turned one year old last month.
Here she is with her mother, her sister and her aunt, who never stray farther than a few steps from her. The real love and strong bonds these social animals display, are what strikes you when you watch them.. and it is why the American public is so passionate about their humane treatment.
Wild horses deserve better than how they are being treated by our federal government and likewise the public who loves them is owed better as well.
However, it is true that wild horse herds have a positive growth rate every year, this means that the birthrate exceeds the natural deathrate, year after year. We know this, because we’ve documented every birth and every death for two decades. Unfortunately there are no “selfsustaining populations”, nomatter how much we wish that were true. Wild horses are simply amazing survivors.
This is why the federal government is so adamant about removals, they have to contend with many different stakeholders, who all think that their stake is the more important one.
So there you have both sides, but something’s gotta give, because the hearts of the public are being broken and taxpayer dollars are being wasted on a wild horse and burro program that is basically a vicious cycle of roundups that do not work. Just a few years after an outrageously expensive roundup, wild horses have replenished their population again, only faster than before – this is called compensatory reproduction.
But there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
Moonshadow is one of only 8 fillies of 2020 and there were also 8 colts. So just 16 foals for 2020 which was already a huge reduction from the 100 foals we had in 2019. But that was only our second year of PZP.
This year with our PZP program in full implementation, we had only 3 foals and 2 are surviving: Bubbles (4 months old now) and Makenzie (6 weeks old) This means that 220 breeding age mares did NOT conceive and the 3 that did, were a result of dart manufacturing fail, not of the PZP itself. Therefore at the Salt River we can say that our PZP program is 100% effective.
While we love foals as much as anyone, we would rather not see them born, than see them stampeded into a trap and seperated from their families. So we work very very hard to meet the goals set by our agreements, while at the same time taking into account that the herd has to stay viable.
It is the slow and gradual natural reduction of the population, that is earning the Salt River wild horses their continued freedom. With this, SRWHMG, in partnership with the AZDA is saving the government a lot of money, saving the horses a lot of suffering and saving the public a lot of heartache.
If a small organization like us can accomplish these kind of results on a very small budget, then the huge establishment of the BLM should be able to accomplish it on a 110 million dollar budget.
There are better ways.