The word “wild” does not mean just let them suffer.
In other much larger Herd Management Area’s (HMA’s) older wild horses are seen one day and then just disappear the next. It’s the circle of life and the way of the wild. But in our neck of the woods, we can’t exactly say, ok we are going to stop monitoring this old stallion, so that he can just slide into the night and quietly disappear.
It is usually their teeth that fail them. They become so overgrown or infected, that it causes pain to eat. You can then try to feed them, like we did for several months with Shadowfax, but it only gets them by for a while. They cannot ingest enough to sustain healthy organs. They slowly starve until one day they are too weak and lay down and it then takes another couple of days until they die from organ failure. It is still perfectly natural because they cannot live forever and young stallions must have their chance to lead a band too, it refreshes DNA of the herd. But it sure is a slow suffering and undignified way to go out. But we also know that once rescued they can’t go back. So, we try for as long as possible to leave them wild and free. That we tried. But now its time, time to bring this old icon in to give him a good retirement.
Shadowfax old buddy, everything will be ok. You have a place to have a lovely retirement. You will be cared for and loved, and we will continue to share your story with the public that loves you so much too.
Please consider becoming a monthly sponsor for Shadowfax, a Salt River icon.