Thank you again for the overwhelming responses about Mirabelle’s untimely death. How we all share the sorrow and how much we all care proves an important point for all wild horses that cannot be disputed; Wild horses are deeply and truly cherished by the American public. Our connection runs deep, not only because they are part of our history, but because they are so much like us. They care most about the two things we care most about: Family and Freedom.
We received many questions also, some questioned how we know it was a mountain lion and some questioned why the 3 stallions in that band couldn’t prevent her death. Most questioned if we were ok, and thanked us for the care and management of this herd. Thank you.
First, we can say with certainty that it was a mountain lion, because we now have pictures of her. She is a beautiful cat and no matter how sad, she just did what she had to to survive. She is very afraid of people and she would never attack a person, it’s the reason why we did not even know we still had one.
We had a beautiful mountain lion a few years ago and people would post pictures of her and discuss where they saw her because she was very cool. She was killed. We have beautiful Bighorn sheep also, who show up regularly in a certain spot and people are already behaving badly and walking up to them, after which they don’t show up for a week. Hunters are also asking us where they are. Please leave them be so we can all continue to enjoy the wildlife. The lower Salt River has a very healthy ecosystem.
A healthy ecosystem has predators and scavengers also, so we do not want to see the mountain lion killed. We have already received many requests from hunters about her location, but we are not going to disclose it and hope you don’t if u see her. Please let’s not harm her. If there was an overpopulation of mountain lions, that would be different, but we believe at this time it’s only one.
We can also say with certainty that the stallions in Mirabelle’s band defended her and did everything they could. One Knee has a big scratch over his eye and he might lose his eye because of it. Surfer Dude has 4 perfectly spaced nail scratches across his butt, and it’s swollen. We know they did everything they could, but she was probably very fast and ferocious.
The love and caring wild horses have for their bands is their most important survival skill and it is also what makes wild horses so special to watch. Mirabelle’s band has since left the area and has shown up in the northern quadrant where they might feel safer at the moment.
You can see them grazing in the hills in the mornings. We ask that all visitors as well as regulars maintain a 50 ft distance from wild horses at all times, for their safety and yours. It is so important not to try to tame or pet wild horses. While they are used to the thousands of spectators, they need to stay vigilant at watching out for themselves.
Please also don’t bring your dogs to watch wild horses, but if you do, keep your dogs leashed. Wild horses can and will kill dogs if they come too close. As evidenced by Mirabelle’s death, they have good reason not to trust animals that size, but the more dogs they learn to trust, the worse it is for their protective responses, when they need it.
Both Surfer Dude and One Knee will be monitored closely for their injuries and we are sure that they will be ok.
Please help us protect wild horses as well as their ecosystem.
Thank you. SRWHMG.
Pictures by SRWHMG Jen Johnson.