Onaqui update: Totals reach 344 wild horses captured, one killed

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Wild horses on the Onaqui Mountain Herd Management Area. RTF file photo by Meg Frederick.

The Bureau of Land Management through Saturday has captured 344 wild horses on the Onaqui Mountains Herd Management Area in Utah. A 4-year-old bay mare was euthanized on Friday after suffering a broken front left leg, according to the agency’s gather report.

On Friday, 48 stallions, 64 mares and 16 foals were captured, followed by 60 stallions, 39 mares and nine foals on Saturday, the fourth day of a planned 12-day, 400-horse helicopter roundup on the. On Thursday, one mare leaped over a panel and escaped.

Return to Freedom believes conducting this roundup during foaling season is unconscionable. This easily accessible herd should be managed on the range with safe, proven and humane fertility control.

A total of 108 wild horses have been captured. The agency plans to capture 400, removing 296 and releasing with fertility control 52 mares as well as releasing a similar number of studs. The BLM estimates the HMA’s population at 475 wild horses compared to the agency’s “Appropriate Management Level” of 121 to 210 horses.

The BLM plans to remove horses from state, private, U.S. Forest Service and military lands as well as BLM-managed rangeland.

Horse selected to be released back onto the HMA will be released from the trap site or shipped to Sutherland, Utah, Off-Range Contract Facility. The Sutherland facility is not open to the public.

Horses selected for removal and offered up for adoption and/or sale will be shipped to the Delta, Utah, Wild Horse & Burro Facility. Horses removed from the Onaqui gather will be available for adoption via the BLM Online Corral Adoption beginning in mid-October.

Members of the public who wish to view the roundup should call 801-539-4050.