Sulphur roundup: 37 Utah wild horses captured

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A paint looked a bit out of place as on Thursday as it managed to escape being captured. The Sulphur HMA is known for wild horses with black, dun or grullo colorations. All photos by Steve Paige.

Update: This post was updated with photos on Jan. 21. 

The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday captured 37 wild horses from Utah’s Sulphur Horse Management Area before another winter storm set in, bringing to 164 the the two-day total of wild horses captured there.

No wild horses were injured, according to BLM, though several did stumble in the snow before regaining their footing. Also on Thursday, 50 wild horses were transported to the Axtell Off-Range Corrals.

BLM plans to capture about 700 wild horses between now and Jan. 31 from the area about 50 miles west of Milford, Utah.

About 300 of the young wild horses will be permanently separated from their family bands and put up for adoption. The unadopted will be moved to long-term holding facilities, according to the agency.

About 400 of the older wild horses will be re-released, including 100 to 150 mares treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22.

The roundup is part of a BLM plan to reduce the Sulphur HMA’s population to an Appropriate Management Level of 165 wild horses over a six- to 10-year period. In March 2016, the wild horse population on the 265,675-acre HMA was estimated at 957 head.

The BLM also justifies roundups near State Highway 21 as being conducted for public safety reasons. In fact, none of the wild horses captured during the first two days will be among those released because they were captured near the highway, according to BLM.

There is a plan to install fencing, but it’s unlikely to go up sooner than next month.

How to attend:

Members of the public who wish to view the roundup should call the BLM’s gather hotline at (801) 539-4050 for daily updates.

BLM-escorted tours will leave from the Border Inn Gas Station located on Highway 6 and 50 on the Utah-Nevada state line, 88.6 miles west of Delta, Utah, where tours will depart at 6:30 a.m. MST, weather permitting.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food.

The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh winter weather. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended. No public restrooms will be available once the tour begins.

Photos from Jan. 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.

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