Cedar Mountain: 51 Utah wild horses captured

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The stud pen at temporary holding is growing increasingly crowded with older horses that will be released at the end of the Cedar Mountain Horse Management Area roundup. All photos by RTF humane observer Steve Paige.

Fifty-one wild horses were captured on Sunday during the Bureau of Land Management’s ongoing helicopter roundup at the Cedar Mountain Horse Management Area in Utah.

That brings the total trapped to 534 since Feb. 11. Two horses have been euthanized. No other physical injuries have been reported by the agency.

On Sunday, a new trap site afforded seven public observers a better view of the operation, which ran without incident. The wild horses captured had body classes of 4s and 5s on the 10-point scale used by the agency.

BLM intends to capture up to 700 wild horses before the roundup’s end. The agency plans to separate out and permanently remove from their home range 200-300 “adoptable age” wild horses. Those not adopted will be moved to government holding facilities, according to the agency.

The other wild horses captured — including about 200 mares that will be treated with PZP-22 fertility control vaccine — will be returned to the range.

The 197,275-acre Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area, located about 50 miles west of Tooele, Utah, has a BLM-assigned Appropriate Management Level of 190-390 wild horses and a current horse population estimated at 960, according to the agency.

BLM planning documents related to the roundup can be found here.

Cedar Mountain is the fourth helicopter roundup of 2017.

Photos from Feb. 19: 

You can help:

Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for Return to Freedom to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.

Viewing the roundup:
Members of the public can view the roundup on BLM-escorted tours departing at 5:30 a.m. MST from the Flying J gas station at 1605 East Saddleback Blvd. in Lake Point, Utah. Information will be updated daily on the BLM’s hotline, (801) 539-4050.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food. They should dress for harsh winter weather and know that restrooms are not available after tours begin. Binoculars and four-wheel drive vehicles with a high clearance are strongly recommended.