Seven Spanish mustang mares and their foals have arrived at a sanctuary in Arizona, following a rescue mission by the Wild for Life Foundation (WFLF).
All have been identified as being an El Rito Spanish Mustang – descendants of the Spanish horses brought to the Americas by Juan de Onate in the 1500s. They are part of the Monero Mustang conservation program founded by WFLF’s Wild Horse Conservation Manager Sandi Claypoole. This special conservation program was established for their protection after they had narrowly escaped government eradication.
The mares and foals had been in danger of going to slaughter, WFLF said, but following a “collaborative grass roots rescue mission” by the WFLF’s Safe Haven Rescue Partnership program, the group is now safe at Equine Voices in Green Valley, Arizona.
It is a transitional move for the horses, while the foals, aged from six weeks to three months of age, grow and prepare for their final journey with their dams to the WFLF’s Wild Horse Sanctuary program in California.
Donations in support of the WFLF Monero Mustangs Rescue Mission are helping to provide feed, medical care, transport and safe haven placement for the survivors, and to assure they will never be subject to roundup or slaughter again. Volunteer rescue team members have been working around the clock to truck in hay and water to keep them fed. The last of the herd members are being evacuated out of the temporary shelters in New Mexico where they had received emergency refuge.
Katia Louise, filmmaker, founder and president of the Wild For Life Foundation (WFLF), said the horses would soon join Red Rock Herd of sacred Navajo Mustangs at the California sanctuary.
“With wild mustang herds across the west vanishing, the importance of protecting and preserving them, and providing the public the opportunity to view and experience wild mustangs in their natural environment is essential to the history and the future of our Nation,” she said.
WFLF partnered with the Monero Mustangs in April 2014, and has since successfully placed the majority of these imperiled horses into new sanctuary habitats. “Horses heal our hearts and they can heal the lands,” Louise said.
“As ambassadors for the horse nation these wild horses are helping to educate and show the world that the re-introduction of horses to America’s rangelands, in truth can rejuvenate the environment.”
Wildlife ecologist Craig Downer and director of the Wild for Life Foundation and author of The Wild Horse Conspiracy points out that wild horses are a big benefit to the ecosystem. “They help to create that very important soil substance known as Humus, which makes the soils more nutrient-rich, adhesive and more retentive to water. This aids greatly in increasing the moisture of soils and elevating the water tables. The manure of wild horses builds the soils and disperses the intact seeds of many species to a much greater degree than cattle and sheep. Wild free-roaming horses also greatly reduce the possibility of catastrophic fires which can sterilize the soils and destroy its seed banks.”