We want to thank our followers so much for the 27.000 likes yesterday on our Mothers Day video! Bubbles is very popular and we hope that everyone can keep being respectful to her and her band. So far, through the diligence and professionalism of our volunteers, Bubbles is safe and most people really do understand, that a 50 ft distance is the right thing to do, for the horses and for peoples safety too. (But ofcourse, there are always a few people who just refuse to listen to reason. We will touch more on that challenge later.)
But this is not Bubbles. While we are talking about foals, we wanted to take a look back to show you a less popular little filly, that we were very worried about, at one time. We monitored her and her mother, because she was so tiny and her mother was so very young.
Before our PZP program was authorized, most mares in the Salt River Herd gave birth to their first foal before they were 3 years old. Many were barely 2, and the youngest mare ever, conceived at just 10 months old! She delivered a live foal at 21 months of age, thats 3 months before she turned 2.
More often than not, those tiny first foals did not live, and we’ve witnessed several young mares even die during childbirth. Ofcourse, that is nature, and it happens in every wild herd, but because of our close monitoring program, it caused us and our volunteers, many heartbreaks. We documented every single incident and none will be forgotten.
This does not happen anymore now, because of our humane PZP fertility control program. The word humane applies, because the dart doesn’t cause the mares any harm, and only very little distress for 3 seconds. That word also applies because birthcontrol is a lot better than removals of the horses from their home. But in addition, it applies to the many little foals who no longer live and die silently, because their dams (mares) were just too young to foal. That is an additional benefit that not often gets considered. But, we love preventing that previous suffering.
However, we want you to know that this sweet pair of the young mother, and tiny foal, both are doing great today. The first picture was taken in March 2017, the little newborn in the picture just had her 4th birthday and her very beautiful face was photographed and posted by Patty Ranweiler on our Advocates page this week. (See second picture)
Their names are Velvet and Fiona II. (Fiona II because her maternal grandmother was Fiona) They may not be as popular as Mama Blue and Bubbles, but we sure love them all the same. Keep posting your pictures on our Advocates page and we will keep telling you their special stories. (Go to Salt River Wild Horses – Advocates)
All of our programs are geared towards the humane treatment and preservation of the Salt River wild horses. Thank you to the AZDA and thank you to our supporters.