The release included two stallions at Shinn Ranch Road in the Observation South Home Range and two stallions at Horn Ranch in the Observation North Home Range. 11 mules and one burro were released into the North Twin Peaks Home Range at Buffalo Meadows Ranch near Parsnip Springs. Also released were two mare-foal pairs and two additional pregnant mares into the Skedaddle-Dry Valley Home Range near Telephone Springs. All four mares were treated with the fertility control drug PZP while in foal.
"The mare release will achieve the targeted sex ratio of 60 percent stallions and 40 percent mares in the home range," said Ken Collum, manager of the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office. “The stallions have the saddle horse conformation and size that will maintain the characteristics of the Twin Peaks wild herd. The mules and burro are being released because they are over adoption age. The mules will not contribute to population growth.”
The BLM removed 1,579 wild horses and 160 wild burros from the Twin Peaks HMA in a roundup conducted last August and September.
According to the BLM a three-day helicopter survey was conducted in October 2010 showing there are now about 790 wild horses and 160 wild burros remaining in the HMA, slightly over the upper limit of the appropriate management level of 448-758 horses and 72-116 burros.
An independent areal survey shows numbers far lower.
We made the trip to Litchfield arriving at 8:15 AM in time to watch the trailer loading. First the mules and burro, then the 4 mares and 2 foals, and finally the 4 stallions.
|The Stallions. More pics of them here.|
|Mares and foals loaded, wranglers checking everything over.|
One crew member stated the safety of the foals was his highest concern.
|The Mollie Mules. These eyes belong to her.|
4 trailers, loaded with the lucky ones who were returned to their home land, each headed in a different direction.
We chose to follow along with the mares and foals.
|Seen the day she was captured at Shinn 1 trap site in the Observation North Home Range,|
here, here and here
(Note- in the last photo here the young smaller buckskin mare, on the right side of photo,
perished at the corrals on 1/21/2011, she was only three years old.)
|They pause looking back for the others who were calling to them from inside the trailer.|
Her son that was with her the day of capture... seen here and here