Devil's Garden Days Six & Seven: Roundup ends with 290 California wild horses captured, Oct. 2, 2016

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The U.S. Forest Service completed its roundup at The Devil’s Garden Horse Territory in northeastern California over the weekend.

A total of 290 wild horses were captured beginning on Sept. 26. The bulk were transported to the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Facility, east of Susanville, Calif., where they will be put up for adoption.

On Sunday, the Forest Service released the last of the stud horses ages 6-older onto the territory near Mowitz Butte, away from the private land from which they were rounded up. Before were released, the stallions were freeze branded with an “X” so that they can be avoided during any future roundups.

Unadopted mares ages 6 and older were to be treated with a fertility control vaccine, then released on Devil’s Garden away from private land. All other wild horses that go unadopted at Litchfield during the next 9 months are to be returned to Devil’s Garden for release, as well.

“It appears that the U.S. Forest Service / Modoc National Forest is actually working with horse advocates to find reasonable solutions to its wild horse population,” said Steve Paige, who documented the roundup for Return to Freedom.

Saturday saw 53 wild horses rounded up by helicopter from the Steele Swamp area of the territory. Those captured included many black horses. The various trap sites at Devil’s Garden produced different and unique herds, Paige said, probably because of the vast number of fences within the territory.

For more information on the roundup, please click here. For more information about the Litchfield facility and adoptions, please click here.

To add your name to Return’s to Freedom’s anti-roundup petition, please click here.

For photos from last week, see the reports from MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday and Friday.

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After being trapped, family bands are torn apart. The horses are transported, sorted and separated into various pens.

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Older stallions battle for domination at temporary holding before being released.

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Older horses were freeze branded with an “X” so that they may be avoided in future roundups.

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Older stallions released near Mowitz Butte Tank in Devil’s Garden.

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