BLM removes over 200 wild horses in first days of Piceance-East Douglas helicopter operations
As of Saturday, July 16, the Bureau of Land Management had rounded up 235 feral horses from the Piceance-East Douglas management area in western Colorado.
So far, the BLM slaughter includes 106 mares, 87 stallions and 42 foals, according to the agency. The BLM’s White River Field Office began rounding up the wild horses with helicopters on Friday, July 15.
The Bureau of Land Management began rounding up feral horses in the Piceance-East Douglas herd management area on June 16, with the goal of removing up to 1,250 horses.
The latest roundup of wild horses, which is expected to become the largest in state history, was split into two stages. Bait and water trap operations began in mid-June and removed 18 feral horses. Drive-trap collection operations, which use horse riders before helicopters, began late last week.
According to the BLM, the roundup will help slow population growth, keeping the population size at the BLM’s appropriate management level, which the agency has put between 135 and 235 horses.
The agency says that by reducing the number of feral horses, it will help maintain a healthy population, which is expected to increase by around 20% each year.
The BLM reported one death among the horses due to pre-existing or chronic disease. Horse advocates have criticized the feral horse roundups, particularly after more than 140 horses died at a BLM detention facility in Cañon City earlier this year.
Horses removed from the Piceance-East Douglas management area will be made available for adoption once they have been processed.
Wild horses for adoption are listed online at WildHorsesOnline.BLM.govwhich offers the possibility of buying the animals and having them delivered to a location close to the buyer.