West Douglas (Colo.) update: 36 wild horses captured, foal euthanized

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Captured wild horses in temporary holding on July 29. BLM photo.

The Bureau of Land Management captured 36 wild horses on Saturday, the sixth day of an “emergency” helicopter roundup on the West Douglas Herd Area, 20 miles south of Rangely, Colo. One foal was euthanized for a “chronic pre-existing injury to lower chest,” according to BLM’s gather report.

A total of 222 wild horses have been captured so far. Two stallions were also euthanized on Thursday for “chronic pre-existing conditions.”

The 10 stallions, 18 mares and eight foals captured Saturday are part of an estimated 450 wild horses that the agency plans to remove 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 Canyon 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.