Hello and Happy Friday to everyone!
We wanted to share an update/story from Theodore Roosevelt National Park with you.
A few weeks ago, the Park had a bison round-up. For a full week, they used helicopters to gently round up the bison. Their target was to capture 400 bison. Captured bison are usually given to tribes, zoos or sold for meat.
While the helicopters are flying, the horses, who remember helicopter round ups, begin running too. This is interesting to note because they have not used helicopters to round up horses for 10 years. Still, the older ones remember and teach the younger ones to run at the sound.
It is also important to note that if the Park is successful in their attempts to eliminate this herd of horses, they have stated that they will go back to weeklong helicopter round ups on the horses. Also, horses who do not sell “after multiple attempts” will be euthanized.
Back to our story…
Weeklong helicopter round ups for the bison caused quite a ruckus in the horse world.
We were in the Park the other day and noticed several changes. Time will tell if these stick or if the bands will make their way back to what they were before the bison round up.
Perdita has proven to be quite an interesting mare!
She gave birth to her first baby, Mare Anisak, in April of 2019, when Perdita herself was only 2 years old. She was alone and did all she could to protect her baby as then bachelor stallions Gunner and Flash fought over who was going to start their first band with Perdita and her new baby.
After weeks of battling, Gunner finally won. Perdita has (MOSTLY) been with him ever since.
It is obvious that Perdita enjoyed their band when it was just their small little family.
Gunner, on the other hand, maybe with the male “bigger is better” mentality, had other ideas for the future of the band. Gunner has held the largest band with a number of 20!
Over the last couple of years, as the band has grown, Perdita seems to occasionally take a sabbatical away from the rest of the band. She never goes alone; she always takes her kids with her.
We will say that Perdita ALWAYS manages to find her way back to Gunner!
This week we found Perdita with her son, 2021 Colt Ace, and her daughter, 2020 Mare Birch along with Birch’s daughter, Filly Aspen, all together. 2021 Colt Beau was also “with” the group.
Since none of us were there to witness the changes, it is hard to tell what is currently happening.
The five could have simply been separated from the band during the bison round up. Gunner could have made attempts to kick Beau and Ace out of the band. Perdita could just be taking another sabbatical.
Beau and Perdita are both siblings. They were both born to Mare Pretty Girl and the late Stallion Red Face is the presumed sire of both.
The horses definitely keep things interesting, that is for sure!
There are other changes that have happened over the last month as well. We will begin to talk about those here in the coming weeks. The sun sets at 4 pm now, and colder weather keeps teetering back and forth. We are trying to use the time we have to get answers on where everyone is.
As always…stay tuned!
I share this story today because this is what we do. So many people share photos and stories of what they experience when they see these amazing horses. And before you know it, everyone is in LOVE with their favorites. Or maybe you are like me, and they are ALL your favorites!
Each one of these horses is unique in their own way. They each have their own story and their own personalities. They all have their families, like Perdita, that they very obviously love and work hard to protect.
Each one of these horses is in danger of losing their freedom in the ONLY home they have ever known – the rugged badlands of North Dakota.
We have just one week left for everyone to get their comments into the Park. Have you sent yours yet?
Please note: we are NOT collecting comments. The ONLY way that your comment counts is if you submit your comment through the Park’s planning website: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=167&projectID=105110&documentID=132035 or have it postmarked by November 24th and mailed to: Superintendent, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, P.O. Box 7, Medora, ND 58645.
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates has a wealth of information to help you make an educated, impactful and substantive comment on our website: https://chwha.org/save-the-trnp-wild-horses/
We also created a template that you can use to customize into your own comment letter: https://secure.everyaction.com/9pae2T4Ud0SItoaoX10DmA2
For those of you who don’t like to copy and paste, you can sign onto our comment letter: https://secure.everyaction.com/9pae2T4Ud0SItoaoX10DmA2. We will mail it to the Park with all of your signatures attached and make sure it is postmarked by the November 24th deadline.
Just under 200 wild horses are counting on you to be their voice! Please make sure you take a moment to comment FOR THE HORSES!
Thank you for your support and have a GREAT weekend!