Foal Death

Dead foal Twin Peaks (Downer)

Two-Week-Old Wild Horse Shot and Killed Before California Roundup

Advocates ask for investigation

Sacramento, CA (August 13, 2010)—The body of a wild horse foal was found near the site of the Twin Peaks roundup Wednesday by Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and Cloud Foundation Board member, and Christy Davis, wild horse advocate. Davis, an experienced horse woman, examined the foal for any broken bones. What she found was an apparent rope burn on a rear leg as well as a gunshot wound.

 “It seems as though the foal was shot in the gut,” Davis states. “It looked as though the foal was abused, lassoed around the hind legs and dragged.”

The foal, approximately 2 weeks old, was killed prior to the start of the controversial Twin Peaks Herd Management Area roundup in Northern California. When Davis told BLM officials about finding the gunshot foal, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee, Carman Prisco, told Davis she must be confused and the dead animal was an antelope. Photos taken by Downer confirmed that this is indeed a wild horse foal.

Photographs taken at the capture site, set on sharp lava rock, reveal blood stains within the trap.

Mustang advocates ask BLM law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation into the abuse and death of the federally protected wild horse—killed before independent contractor, Cattoor Livestock, began rounding up wild horses with helicopters.

Field reports from those on the ground noted a severely injured white stallion that suffered head trauma supposedly from fighting with other stallions in tightly packed transport vehicles. Even though the injury was serious, the BLM contractor was quoted as saying a vet “might need” to be called. The whereabouts of that stallion are currently unknown. Another stallion was off loaded into a pen with eight mules that attacked him, causing traumatic injuries. This incident was also brought to the attention of the BLM by public observers.

Advocates were told yesterday that there were no injuries, yet when they went to look at the horses in holding, the area was blocked off. They were told that they could not access the area because the “injured horses” needed to rest.

 Injuries are not uncommon in roundups and underscore the need for public access, says Ginger Kathrens, Director of the Cloud Foundation and EMMY Award-winning producer.

“Access is absolutely essential and is granted by the Constitution,”  says  Kathrens. “The ‘acceptable’ suffering of these horses is simply not acceptable to the caring public.”

Laura Leigh, Cloud Foundation Herd Watch coordinator, agrees.

“If this is what we see when the BLM actually allows us in, what happens when they black out their actions to the press and public?” asks Leigh,  plaintiff for the Owyhee round-up that ended July 20 in Nevada, “The time for real Congressional intervention is long overdue.”

The recent round-up in Tuscarora, Nevada—also run by Cattoor Livestock—resulted in the deaths of thirty-six wild horses.


Links of interest:

Wild Horse Roundup Begins in California

PR Firm Hired for the Destruction of America’s Wild Horse and Burro Herds

‘Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses’

The Mustang Conspiracy: Sex, Drugs, Corruption, and BP – investigative report

Wild Horse and Burro Act

Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues

Fact Sheet on Wild Herds & The Salazar Plan

Past Cloud Foundation press releases

Photos, video and interviews available from:

The Cloud Foundation

The Cloud Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.

107 S. 7th St. – Colorado Springs, CO 80905 – 719-633-3842


26 thoughts on “Foal Death

  1. Barbara Warner says:

    This is horrible beyond words. A gut shot causes a slow , agonizing death.
    Now other foals and horses will die too. God bless you all for getting this out but I know it must upset you terribly. It has me and it is so much worse to see it. And to tell Craig it wasn’t a foal even.

  2. jan eaker says:

    this makes me SO ANGRY!!!!! why won’t SOMEONE stand up and end this inhumanity,
    I can’t begin to imagine what it is like for you who are out there witnessing this. I look at my horses, sweating just standing around in this sweltering heat, my heart and prayers goes out to the ones running for their lives out West. BLM admits they are healthy, why can’ t they just leave them alone??

  3. Anna says:

    who dunn it ? let’s be clear; the BLM “openly admits the contractor “shot a mare and a foal on the same day as one of the roundups; there is a pix of the Mare on the Internet standing on a cliff with scraped knees before being “shot; I do not know who took the pix of the Mare the BLM “shot…(I call the BLM and the contractor the same entity); then apparantly the Mare had a foal and the BLM contractor “shot the foal: could this be the same foal ? that is my question…aw

    ps if this is the same foal; the BLM will be investigated…imo

    • Barbara Warner says:

      The photo of the mare that was shot was taken by Katie Fite. It and another foal were in the Tuscarora HMAs in NV . The foal that Craig Downer took a picture of is in the Twin Peaks HMA in CA where another roundup is taking place.

  4. Anna says:

    pps the foal’s body should be immediately gathered for evidence and the Sherrif should be called on a complaint;

    i would call the sherrif myself; not sure of the town though…?
    someone somewhere please file a complaint and have the Foal saved for evidence before the BLM destroys that like the way the blm destroyed the evidence of Hope feathers oneday

  5. Anna says:

    pps someone should go back up there and look for other evidence such as “pieces of lassoo ropes; foot prints; etc.

    Bless the Foal ! let’s hope this is what stops the Roundups !

    ps the pix of the white mare the blm “shot on a cliff is unreal

    looks like something out of a science fiction movie; the cliffs where they rounded they mustangs up look like another planet; did the blm drive the ‘stangs to the cliffs?

  6. Anna says:

    ps if the BLM is doing the investigation; they will most likely say tis an antelope as the blm said; they will find an antelope foal; and put that in the place of the foal; if I know the blm !

    just like when the blm put up one pix of the foal Trooper’s mom up on the blm website; then took that pix down and put up a completey differnet Mare saying this troopers mum; funny John Neil said Trooper (BLM shot his mum at the gather site on Dec. 30th 2009 for no reason whatsoever; john neil said Trooper was an orphan and did not have a mum; and neil said :Trooper lived on grass from day one…then the BLM said Trooper had 2 mum’s! lol
    god i hate the blm…aw

  7. sandra longley says:

    Appears to be dead for some time before the roundup..However someone is killing the horses for their amusement…the hooves on even a skeleton would tell you whether it was a foal or an antelope..hard to tell by the pictures but looks as if someone tried to stash the body under the rocks???

    • morganlvr says:

      Well, we know there has been friction between the cattle people – who want ALL the land – and the Mustangs. These people seem to think torturing horses is a sport.

      Sure hope they catch whoever, but what will they do with ’em? Slap on the wrist? Sigh.

  8. Anna says:

    hello; yeah that is what I was thinking; yeah I can see by the hooves that is a Foal; i would like to know who did this ! so i guess this would not be the same foal i was mentioning…thnx

    ps doesn’t that mean “2 foals in that area were shot; + 1 mare?; I have an excellent post from an website to post in am

  9. Anna says:

    hello; yeah that is what I was thinking; yeah I can see by the hooves that is a Foal; i would like to know who did this ! so i guess this would not be the same foal i was mentioning…thnx

    ps I have an excellent post from an website to post in the am

  10. sandra longley says:

    Why would you put 1 stallion -or any stallions-in with a herd of mules??Lets not forget Sues prejudice against “white horses” as she claimed the palamino mare on the cliff was a white or albino or crremola, and she was not..a cremola has pink skin under the hair coat and you cannot distinguish their white markings..Non the less, there is nothing about a cremola to be prejudiced against they don’t have any problems a paint horse doesn’t have..someone needs to give that whole family of rednecks an ennema. And this is the woman the BLM considers their “expert”..good grief!

  11. President Obama has sanctioned these roundups and therefore the Buck Stops with him. Horse killers. You are responsible for this.

    Yes, Sandra, here we have a recurring theme. They would have to know what mules would do to a lone wild horse placed in their midst. I bet they did it for amusement. These people are Killers. mar

  12. Where is the FBI? This is out of control. mar

  13. savewildhorses says:

    The Cattoors need their contract cancelled. They are not fit to be around any wild horses. They are still the outlaw horse rustlers.

  14. We need intervention now. mar

  15. Call HSUS and demand action from them NOW to save these foals… mar

    Simone Netherlands: Leslie was allowed brief access to the Litchfield corrals and documented 26 babies including very small ones in a pen with only 4 mares. They were screaming for their mothers who were all scattered in different corrals calling back out to them. Also one lactating mare down with a broken leg and another colicking severely in a different pen. It is 90 degrees and we have 26 babies starving and dehydrating.

    • Anna says:

      that sounds like the BLM…for God’s sake…why does the BLM separate the Foals from the Mares…?

      This creates countless orphans in the pens which the BLM does not feed…so in effect…

      The BLM creates Orphan Foals in the pens after Roundups;

      should be illegal to take Foals away from their Mothers…

  16. Anna says:

    what we must bear in mind is this: The BLM themselves are just a small group of people; running a small group of “delapilated mustang corrals and pens…The BLM is small…

    But the people are great; Congress is great; the BLM is small;

    so this means: the Great people and congress will “squash the small BLM…”; and the BLM WH & B program will “close…
    so document every BLM abuse and save for future legalities

  17. Anna says:

    I picture the end of the BLM like this: Congress will begin an Investigation into “the shootings of Foal(s) and Mare on cliff;
    Congress will see evidence of How Sanford “shot Foal Hope…

    Congress will see the evidence of how the BLM “shot the downed Mare and the Black weak Mare next to her in Feb. ’10

    Congress will see the pix of “The Starving Foal Lil Feathers; and Lil One day who was not helped to her feet to nurse; but left to suffer from lack of sustenance like Hope + Feathers;

    and then I picture this: The BLM officials and the Cattoors Livestock roundup co. sitting in the Great Halls of Congress before Congress and seeing them “Perjure themselves…

    once the BLM/Cattoors comit perjuty; they will be “dunn…aw

    • Yeh small minded Jack asses. Have you seen the video Tragedy at Silver King: Bravehearts Last stand. Those SOB delibertly seperated that baby from the mare and the stalion and then to top it all off delibertly brought another horse next to the pen. The stallion braveheart rammed the fense breaking his necck. They forced the mare into a trailer after watching the death of her stallion and then the SOB drug Bravehearts dead body into the same trailer as the mare, leaving the baby all alone. These aren’t human beings, They are no good lousy SOB’s. There is no reason to seperate those mares from the babies. I hope the whole lot of them get stuck in a corral and those horses do to their sorry A**** what needed to be done to them a long time ago. The barbaric bastards.

  18. Anna says:

    an open letter to Craig Downer and other wildlife biologists:

    “do you know what the difference between a marsh and a pond is ? i am not an expert but my opinion is:

    a marsh is a pond with plants growing right in the pond…
    a pond is a body of water with plant growing around pond
    so a marsh has plants growing in the water; a pond does not;

    so the BLM says; The reason we round up Mustangs is the Mustangs ruin the fauna on the plains and the Mustangs ruin the fauna around the ponds and watering holes…WRONG !

    The Mustangs eat the fauna around the water holes; this is true; just like in Africa the Zebras eat the fauna around the watering holes; ya’ see the BLM is way off base when they say: The Mustangs ruin the watering holes…on the contrary

    just the opposite…the Mustangs keep the watering holes “flowing…by eating the “crab grass etc. which grows around the watering hole; thereby keeping the watering places open and accessible to the Mustangs and other wildlife; for example…


    and then the Pond would be a Marsh filled with plants…

    Summary: The Wild Equine and other wild species “Eat the Weeds and grasses which would otherwise “choke the pond…

    just like fish and ducks/geese eat the excess algae on ponds;

    so by making the Mustangs a dwindling species; the BLM is actually causing ponds; watering places; even natural springs

    to get “clogged up with weeds; thus limiting the water for every species; what the blm doesn’t understand is: Mother Nature has the plan all set up; and you cannot improve on it…
    I do think the time for legal intervention by congress is here

    summary: The Mustangs and Burros eat the “excess weeds and grasses which would otherwise “clog up the ponds/springs; therby keeping the springs open to species

  19. Anna says:

    Barbara wrote:

    The photo of the mare that was shot was taken by Katie Fite. It and another foal were in the Tuscarora HMAs in NV . The foal that Craig Downer took a picture of is in the Twin Peaks HMA in CA where another roundup is taking place.

    Anne’s comment: thank you for clearing that up for me…AW ps how did Katie get way up on the cliffs to “take that shot ? I figured the Cattoors did not take the pic…

    I guess no pix were taken of the foal; I will get the BLM !
    (the pen is mightier than the BLM…)

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