Friday, August 13, 2010



             ©Photographs by Craig Downer  {CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPHS TO ENLARGE)

  After the roundup activities had ceased on the first day of the Twin Peaks roundup, Craig Downer and Chrystie Davis went looking around on our public land to see what they could see, and what they could see was this dead baby, approximately two weeks old.   I am now free to release these photographs for you.  An investigation is under way.  I've reposted The Cloud Foundation's press release and added photographs provided by Craig Downer. 
       Thank you all for hanging in.  Tell a friend about our wonderful wild horses.  Tell them that Texas hasn't a one anymore, not one single wild horse, unless it's an adopted mustang from another state.  Tell them there's only one herd left in Montana on 40,000 acres, and the Bureau of Land Management wants to keep that herd at only 120 horses (and they are starting to build a fence to keep those horses out of a part of their customary range because it's in our National Forest and not technically BLM land.  What happened to Mr. Abbey's and Mr. Salazar's promises to work with other agencies for the benefit of the horses?).  Tell them this is serious.  And tell them where they can go to join their voice to the millions insisting on appropriate true protection and an end to the helicopter madness.   
        I know people get  particularly emotional over issues concerning foals.  Let's remember:
       Whoever did this to this innocent in Twin Peaks, it goes to remind us that these animals need our protection. Please be clear that just because this baby's body was found in the Twin Peaks HMA doesn't automatically mean the BLM did this or that the contractors did this.  The wild horses have been targets for all manner of abuse, including the men in Nevada who just pled guilty to shooting the five horses they were charged wilth killing (six were actually found).  The BLM are the ones who led that investigation and gave the prosecuting attorneys the evidence they needed to charge these men and obtain guilty pleas.  
     The issue we need to stay focused on is restoring a rightful share of the range to the wild horses and burros and examining BLM's determinations on Appropriate Management Levels, as well as the methods of removal and the skewing of sex ratios.  These are the issues, lest we forget. We want to protect the wild horses and burros and their wild society.
     While I take great issue with the BLM's methods of managing our wild horses, I want to see what this investigation reveals before pointing any fingers.  My thanks to the officials launching an immediate investigation.
For the wild horses, captive and free, and their humble burro friends,
Elyse Gardner
Humane Advocate Observer

Two-Week-Old Wild Horse Shot and Killed Before California Roundup
Advocates ask for investigation

Sacramento, CA (August 13, 2010)—The body of a wild horse foal was found near the site of the Twin Peaks roundup Wednesday by Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and Cloud Foundation Board member, and Chrystie Davis, wild horse advocate. Davis, an experienced horsewoman, examined the foal for any broken bones. What she found was an apparent rope burn on a rear leg as well as a gunshot wound.
 “It seems as though the foal was shot in the gut,” Davis states. “It looked as though the foal was abused, lassoed around the hind legs and dragged.” 

                             ©Photographs by Craig Downer

The foal, approximately 2 weeks old, was killed prior to the start of the controversial Twin Peaks Herd Management Area roundup in Northern California. When Davis told BLM officials about finding the gunshot foal, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee, Carman Prisco, told Davis she must be confused and the dead animal was an antelope. Photos taken by Downer confirmed that this is indeed a wild horse foal.

Photographs taken at the capture site, set on sharp lava rock, reveal blood stains within the trap.

Mustang advocates ask BLM law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation into the abuse and death of the federally protected wild horse—killed before independent contractor, Cattoor Livestock, began rounding up wild horses with helicopters.

Field reports from those on the ground noted a severely injured white stallion that suffered head trauma supposedly from fighting with other stallions in tightly packed transport vehicles. Even though the injury was serious, the BLM contractor was quoted as saying a vet “might need” to be called. The whereabouts of that stallion are currently unknown. Another stallion was off loaded into a pen with eight mules that attacked him, causing traumatic injuries. This incident was also brought to the attention of the BLM by public observers.

Advocates were told yesterday that there were no injuries, yet when they went to look at the horses in holding, the area was blocked off. They were told that they could not access the area because the “injured horses” needed to rest.

Injuries are not uncommon in roundups and underscore the need for public access, says Ginger Kathrens, Director of the Cloud Foundation and EMMY Award-winning producer.

“Access is absolutely essential and is granted by the Constitution,”  says  Kathrens. “The ‘acceptable’ suffering of these horses is simply not acceptable to the caring public.”

Laura Leigh, Cloud Foundation Herd Watch coordinator, agrees.

“If this is what we see when the BLM actually allows us in, what happens when they black out their actions to the press and public?” asks Leigh,  plaintiff for the Tuscarora round-up that ended July 20 in Nevada, “The time for real Congressional intervention is long overdue.”

The recent round-up in Tuscarora, Nevada—also run by Cattoor Livestock—resulted in the deaths of thirty-six wild horses.

Links of interest:

Wild Horse Roundup Begins in California

PR Firm Hired for the Destruction of America’s Wild Horse and Burro Herds

‘Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses’

The Mustang Conspiracy: Sex, Drugs, Corruption, and BP – investigative report

Wild Horse and Burro Act

Disappointment Valley... A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues

Fact Sheet on Wild Herds & The Salazar Plan

Past Cloud Foundation press releases


  1. Too bad Craig and the others can't tell a foal from an antelope! WHEN will they get it that the advocates know more about horses than all the BLM staff put together? And, we are really getting tired of being treated like idiots. Probably never.

    I do SO hope they catch the person(s) who did this to an innocent baby. In my humble opinion, anyone who would do this is capable of anything - including killing humans. They should never get off with a slap on the wrist.

    Take care - all of you - and thank you so much for keeping those of us so far away up to date.

  2. I totally agree with you Suzanne. ANYONE capable of tourturing another life has done this before and will do it again, if not caught.

    Also, just a comment about how the BLM worked in prosecuting the two men with shooting the 5/(6) horses in Nevada..

    OK, so we give them their 'props' (gag..) in helping with that investigation...
    But, WHO then goes after the BLM AND the Cattoor's for driving a mare & foal up rocky ledges (in the Tuscarora roundup), AND SHOOTING THEM BOTH?

    So, it's OK if the BLM does the killing? No one has to investigate them because they said it was OK?

    That mare & foal were driven onto those ledges and rocks BY THE CATTOR'S helicopters, then they broke/injured their legs and then shot. Were the broken/injured legs a 'pre-exsisting condition' like the other 'euthanasias'.

    It's like playing a game with small children, when they want to change the 'rules' it's OK..?

    I know that WE all know the right answer here. I just cannot understand WHY they continually get away with MURDER...

    If 'we' did this, our butts would be in jail...

    Thank you, Elyse and ALL of our Wild Ones' advocates. Your work is not in vain. We are all with you in every step, heartbeat and tear you cry.

  3. How much money is paid to these people who work for the BLM, they don't care about the animals so what is their motives. are corporations like oil companys wanting this land and want all the horses gone. or is it the cattlemen who want the land to use. I think they need to leave the horses alone and go catch the wild horses that are a problem in the southern states, almost a million wild hogs, they breed like rabbits and a destuctive to crops and property, get a clue leave the horses alone, and get a different job. I don't want to pay you jerks to kill my horses, go give birth control to the wild hogs, that would benefit us all. If the hogs are left to breed you'll have hogs in seattle and new york city before we know it.They can't kill enough of them to even put a dent in the population because they breed so often.

  4. What about the destruction humans do to the environment and "Natural Habitats"...? They not only croud them out and destroy their land, but as seen they even round them up and destroy them! If humans are getting rid of wild horses because of over population... you only have to look at the population of humane s to see the hipocracy in that!

    Check out this web site to view a powerful animated movie about the plight of the wild horses!