The Bureau of Land Management captured 21 wild horses on Wednesday, the 17th day of an “emergency” helicopter roundup on the West Douglas Herd Area, 20 miles south of Rangely, Colo. One death from a “pre-existing / chronic” cause was listed on BLM’s gather report but no details were provided.
A total of 431 wild horses have been captured so far. Eight horses have been killed: seven euthanized for what the agency says were pre-existing conditions and an eighth that suffered a broken leg.
BLM plans to remove 450 wild horses from their home range over 19-25 days.
The agency said that the roundup was necessary because of limited forage and water, deteriorating condition of the horses, and because the nearby Oil Springs Fire has burned summer habitat and limited access to water sources. The fire burned 12,613 acres starting June 18.
The West Douglas Herd Area has not been managed for wild horses since 1975, according to BLM.
Captured horses are being shipped to the Canon City Wild Horse and Burro Facility to be readied for adoption or sale.
Members of the public interested in viewing the roundup should call (970) 673-7768 for the next day’s meeting times and locations.