August 16th @ 9AM
Article by Meg Puckett, OBX Today
This is worth reading since the Salt River wild horses have the same “people” problems as the Corolla wild horses have, and it is not getting any better.
At Corolla they ask people to stay 100ft away, here at the Salt River, we ask people to stay 50ft away from wild horses.
Is it too much to ask? Is it just too tempting to get as close as possible to wild horses?
We understand that it is fun and that it really doesn’t seem to be harming the horses, this lady probably loves the horses a lot.
But think about it from the horses perspective. You are just one person, trying to get close to them, but now multiply your own actions by hundreds of people that come on their path in one day. Now you have to start to wonder if they ever still get any peace and quiet.
The horses have to constantly assess, watch, and adjust their daily patterns for people. They don’t know which human means harm and which human doesn’t. They have no choice but to put up with it, plus all of the crazy things on the river, simply because they have to survive. If they are too shy, then they’ll not get their lifesaving water.
The continued exposure to people makes them become ‘habituated’, basically it means that they are becoming tamer. They have done this very gracefully and have learned to share the river peacefully. They have never harmed a human in the history of the Tonto National Forest.
But that could be different if they start to become too brazen, if they lose their natural fear, if they walk up to a person and something happens, well then guess who’s fault it’s going to be…the horse’s fault, u guessed it. And guess who is going to be removed from the forest… you are right again! Definitely not the human.
So together as people visiting the forest, which is their home, at some point we need to realize that it is NOT cool to think only of ourselves. It is NOT cool to focus on photography but forget to focus on the well-being of the subject. It is NOT cool to try to get as close as u can, to wild horses; it is pure selfish.
50ft, (about the length of a school bus) is close enough to take great pictures even with a cellphone, but it is far enough, so that they can continue their daily routine undisturbed.
Thank you for spreading this message. SRWHMG.