Wild Horse Education

Fast Onaqui Roundup Update(s)

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The roundup of the Onaqui wild horses has begun. The “Gather EA” for this operation was approved in December 2018. The 2019 operation the first to complete under this EA. In 2019 The BLM removed 241 wild horses primarily from the southern part of the HMA (no large photo following). Two wild horses died during the operation.

Fertility control darting of wild horses in the northern area of the HMA has been occurring for several years. In 2015 we took journalist Christopher Ketcham out to Onaqui to observe darting and he featured the visit in a 2017 article “All the Pretty Horses Must Die.”

The agency claims that they must capture as many as possible (via helicopter), and treat at least 80% of mares, to “jump start” the effort to dart. 296 of the 400 targeted for capture will be removed. The rest will be treated and released. “Partnerships” may be approved under the new grant program to expand darting at Onaqui later this summer.

The 2021 operation is the second operation under this EA.

Updates entered with the most current at the bottom.

Total captured at end of operation:

435 captured

1 death: 4 year old mare broke her leg and was euthanized

1 released (escaped)

Day 1:

On the first day of the Onaqui roundup 1 band was captured: 1 stallion, 9 mares and 4 foals for a total of 14. All wild horses were transported to the off range corral at Delta. 

Citing security concerns, all wild horses chosen for release will not be kept in a temporary corral on range, as is customary, but will be transported to a facility. There they will be treated with PZP and released approximately 10 days after the roundup concludes.

A large crowd of observers was present for day one. Observers were kept about 1.3 miles from trap. Capture pens were not obscured but distance made handling observations difficult. 

Day 2:

Wild Horses Captured: 94 (42 stallions, 46 mares, 6 foals)
 shipped: 93 (one mare escaped/released)

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Day 3:

128 wild hoses captured (48 stallions, 64 mares, 16 foals)

4 year old bay mare broke front leg and was euthanized. 

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Day 4

Wild Horses Capured: 108 (60 stallions, 39 mares, 9 foals)
Shipped to Delta: 108

Roundup expected to end tomorrow

Day 5

91 wild horses captured. (35 stallions, 44 mares, 12 foals)

Roundup has ended with a total of 435 captured, 35 over target. 

296 is still the number to be permanently removed. After DNA testing and treatment with PZP, 138 (total) are scheduled to be released. 

If you plan on attending: “The Bureau of Land Management will begin gather operations for the Onaqui Herd Management Area on Wednesday, July 14 and continue every day until gather objectives are met. Members of the public and press interested in observing the gather must be prepared to depart from the Walmart Supercenter parking lot located at 99 W 1280 N, Tooele, Utah 84074 at 5 am MST. Those planning to observe must be prepared for a day in the field and provide their own transportation, food and water. A high-clearance vehicle is highly recommended.” Continue to check the BLM website for further instructions as several days of the operation may take place on a military base and no public will be permitted. BLM page HERE. 

A special thanks to Darlene Smith for documenting the Onaqui roundup.

Over 4000 wild horses will be targeted for capture between now and the end of September 2021. Learn more here. 

You can take action to help America’s wild horses and burros here.

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Categories: Wild Horse Education