Cross-posted from The Examiner.com
Excerpts from article written by MAUREEN HARMONY
News goes from bad to worse for captive Calico horses
May 24, 2010
|Any hope that the surviving captive wild horses from Nevada’s Calico Mountains would be returned to freedom was dashed today, when Federal Judge Paul Friedman ruled against the plaintiffs Terri Farley, Craig Downer, and In Defense of Animals, who had filed a lawsuit seeking the release of the horses to their native ranges.
Indeed, this has been a particularly difficult month for the Calico horses being held against their wills in a Fallon, Nevada feedlot. At least 10 horses — and at least one foal — have died during May alone, including a grulla yearling colt who Elyse Gardner had been following since she first noticed him at the Soldier Meadows trapsite on January 6th. She named him, “Mouse”–a reflection of his distinctive gray color and his steely spirit–and chronicled him in pictures throughout his ordeal in the hands of his BLM captors, to whom he was known simply as “Tag Number 1096.”
In the BLM’s Gather Daily Updates for Wednesday, May 19th, the BLM off-handedly reported that “a yearling gelding (#1096) was euthanized after he was found down in his pen; diagnosis fractured neck, cause unknown.” We can only imagine what really happened to Mouse, but his suffering and the cruelty to which he was subjected will long be remembered, thanks to Elyse Gardner’s caring camera.
Mouse’s terrible demise followed on the heels of what can arguably be called the death by negligence of a young foal who Elyse Gardner called, “Sorro,” and who Cat Kindsfather affectionately named, “Feather.”
Writing in her blog yesterday, Elyse confirmed that BLM veterinarian Dr. Richard Sanford had seen Sorro the day before she filmed him flailing around, dehydrated and disoriented, but that he never intervened, even though it must have been obvious that the fragile colt was in trouble. When Dr. Sanford finally focused on Sorro, after Elyse and other observers complained about his condition, the vet deemed his prognosis to be “hopeless,” and rather than making an effort to save him, opted for euthanasia.
The uproar over Sorro’s pitiable and probably preventable death has apparently stung the BLM, and it has responded defensively to the negative press it engendered. The BLM’s bunker mentality is strongly in evidence now; it has just announced that it will stop issuing the Gather Daily Updates and resort to releasing information about the lives and deaths of the Calico horses only once a week.
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By Humane Observer, Elyse Gardner