The helicopter roundup of wild horses in northwest Colorado has come to an end.

Hundreds of Wild Horses Gathered In Roundup

The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday announced the effort to round up hundreds of horses in the Sand Wash Basin is completed. The horse gathering, however, will continue outside the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area on both private and public lands to round up scattered bands of horses that are residing outside the HMA.

The BLM used helicopters to trap more than 600 horses in the round-up in Moffatt County. The BLM says 50 of the horses will be released back into the area this weekend after the mares are treated for fertility control. The rounded-up horses are being readied for adoption.

 

Roundup Controversy

The wild horse round-up has not been without controversy as horse advocates have called the round-up inhumane and unnecessary. They believe recent monsoonal moisture has restored watering holes and that the land can support more than the 163 horses the BLM was targeting as a herd size. There has also been concerns about possible injuries to the horses during the roundup - and even death.

The controversy was evident from comments posted on the BLM's Facebook page with the round-up being characterized as "utterly inhumane", "complete animal abuse" and "barbaric."

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How the Roundup Is Conducted

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For the roundup, temporary corrals are constructed to create a holding area. The BLM says the horses are grouped and slowly funneled to the corrals at "a pace of the slowest wild horse". A domestic horse is released to encourage the horses to follow it into the trap. A helicopter then lowers in elevation to "encourage the wild horses to continue to move toward the corral."

Two Horses Have Died

The BLM says it does everything it can to ensure wild horses are treated humanely and that all operations will comply with the BLM’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program. The BLM has reported the death of two horses. One was determined to have a pre-existing condition and one that had a pre-existing leg injury not related to the gathering.

 Colorado Governor Praises the End of the Roundup

On Thursday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis praised the end of the effort saying "While I wish this roundup hadn’t even started, I’m encouraged by the opportunity to chart a more humane course for our state’s beloved wild horses."

BLM Wild Horse Roundup

The Bureau of Land Management has concluded its wild horse gathering in the Sand Wash Basin in northwest Colorado. The horses will be made available for adoption, while the remaining horses should have a better life in the basin.

Amazing Pictures of Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin in Colorado

Look at these amazing pictures of the wild horses of Sand Wash Basin in Colorado. There are 900 horses that live on the 160,000 acres of the Sand Wash Basin.