We are sorry to say that we have some more sad news to share with you.
We were out in the park again yesterday and Filly Bliss (Raven’s Myst x Gunner) was not with her band. We witnessed Raven’s Myst crying out, multiple times, with no response from her missing baby.
If you feel like we just talked about missing foals, we did. We let you know last week that Filly Millie was no longer with her band. And about a week or so before that, Colt Patriot was also not with his band.
These horses have no natural predators in the park, and they have not been rounded up. Yes, we did check the handling facility.
There is absolutely no other place for 2–4-month-old foals to be than with their mom and their band. The only assumption we are left with is that they are no longer with us.
There have been 15 live births to the TRNP herd this year. Of those 15, there have been 5 deaths.
While it is understandable that “nature is cruel” or “this is the hard side of wild and free” or that some newborn foals simply “fail to thrive”, what is NOT understandable is how 3 seemingly healthy foals between the age of 2-4 months old have all managed to die within a 30-day period.
We feel that 3 is too many for a coincidence.
3 mares in 3 different bands. What do they have in common?
Well, there is the fact that TRNP is currently treating every female horse aged 8 months and up with GonaCon.
Sure! TRNP says that GonaCon is completely safe for pregnant and nursing mares. We have all seen that stated with any mention of GonaCon, but where are the studies that prove them? Or is that study now also being conducted at Theodore Roosevelt National Park?
If that is true, we would like to see that data – not just words being thrown around telling us that GonaCon is good for our wild horses. Where are the studies showing proof of the words meant to comfort us into believing no horses will be harmed in the administration of this pesticide?
If you are aware of any real studies and proof, please feel free to share them with us. I have been searching for a couple days now and really cannot find more than someone from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado State University (CSU), the NWRC (National Wildlife Research Center) or the National Park Service (NPS) simply telling us just how safe GonaCon is for use as fertility control on wild horses.
Please forgive us for not being open to believing the words of above agencies. They may be known for many different things, and lack of transparency is probably #1 on those lists.
We have reached out to the park superintendent and the chief resource manager for their feedback on why 1/3 of the foals that were born this year have died. We will let you know when they respond.
Rest in Peace little Bliss. You and all of the others will be missed.
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Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates is committed to advocating for a wild horse management plan and protection for these unique wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home! We are fighting for a management plan that is guided by science especially when it comes to decisions regarding the removal of horses and the administration of birth control. Many other wild horse management plans have proven to be successful with their science-based plans. We are asking for the same for this amazing group of wild horses that call Theodore Roosevelt National Park home.