VIDEO: More horses brought in during Pryor Mountain muster

September 7, 2009


The life of wild mustang Cloud has been documented since his birth. His herd, from the Pryor Mountains in Montana, is being rounded up and "removed".

A further 19 horses from the Pryor Mountains were rounded up by helicopter on Saturday (NZ time), joining the five brought in on the first day of the muster.

All 188 wild horses living in the 38,000-acre range on the Wyoming-Montana border are being brought in under Bureau of Land Management orders, with plans for 120 to be released back into the wild. The remainder will be offered for adoption.

The herd has been made famous by documentary maker Ginger Kathrens, who has documented the life of a stallion named Cloud. She was even there to record the day of his birth.

Kathrens, who is volunteer executive director of the Cloud Foundation, said 19 more horses from the lower desert portion of the Pryor range were rounded up by helicopter on Friday (Saturday, NZ time).

"None were injured but with temperatures in the 90s the foals looked a bit sore and tired by the time those to be set free were released," Kathrens said.

Katrens said the BLM planned to remove about 40 horses on Sunday (today, NZ time) from the Custer National Forest.

"Field manager Jim Sparks told us today that all those horses 'fall within removal criteria' but, truly, they are just removing all of them - from 21-year-old mares like Grumpy Grulla ... to young foals - and the 19-year-old band stallion Conquistador.

"The older horses, especially, should not be removed.

"The bureau plans to helicopter-drive these horses into traps on Commissary Ridge in the Custer National Forest and trailer them for nearly two hours down the mountain to the holding pens at Britton Springs near Lovell, Wyoming.

"They are zeroing out the whole subpopulation of Forest Service horses who live outside the designated range. This is not the way to manage a small herd on the brink of genetic viability.

"On Sunday we think that the Cattoors will round up all the horses on the mountain-top - Cloud's band included - and drive them the 10-12 miles down the mountain.

"We are most concerned with the week-old filly and the elderly Bigfoot. There is no reason to bring these specific horses down the mountain and we are requesting that the roundup crew leave them alone."

Kathrens said there has been an incredible public outcry for these horses.

"While the bureau is turning a blind eye to the public whose horses they are charged with managing, others are listening."

She urged people to continue contacting politicians and demand action.

"All of us here witnessing this roundup feel your support for these horses and we will keep working to save this precious herd."