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Surprise Complex (Roundup Update)

High Rock, WHE file photo 2011

The Surprise Complex is made up of 6 HMAs: Massacre Lakes, High Rock, Wall Canyon, Bitner, Nut Mountain and Fox Hog.

The BLM plans to captured 1,220 horses. About 1,050 will be permanently removed from the range. Depending on captured numbers, up to 170 horses will be returned to the range after fertility control application.

This operation is not considered one of the “emergency” operations and is strictly part of the BLM moving the 2020 plan ahead: large removals and fertility control (Path Forward).  The decision approves a mishmash of fertility control (PZP, GonaCon, IUDs). The agency will be using PZP-22 in 2021.

Horses and burros permanently removed will go to Litchfield Corrals near Susanville, CA, and Palomino Valley Center, near Reno, NV.

The last roundup in the complex was in 2011.

We have been the only organization on-site at this operation.

Cumulative totals:

Captured: 1216  (484 stallions, 528 mares and 204 foals)

Shipped: 962 (378 stallions, 403 mares and 181 foals)

Mares treated with PZP(22) and released: 68

Total released: 158

Our count 168, after adding to the published total yesterday. (87 stallions, 69 Mares) We will check with BLM and confirm numbers, HMAs released to and full breakdown. on release.

Deaths: 21

Stallion, broke his neck during loading for release.

BLM considers pre-existing: Stallion (?) lame (injured) bay was euthanized. 1 stud slipped and then came in lame after running fine, BLM said “pre-existing” lameness.

Considered “pre-existing conditions: Mare, estimated older than 25-years-old put down for poor body score; Stallion, estimated older than 30-years-old for poor body score; Foal about, 1-month-old, BLM said was orphaned and dehydrated; 2 mares over 25-years-old put down for poor body condition; Stud estimated over 25-years-old for poor body score; Mare over 25-years-old put down for poor body score; Stallion, estimated older than 20-years-old (BLM said “Body Condition Score of 2, poor prognosis for recovery, euthanized);” Stallion, estimated older than 30-years-old (BLM said Henneke Body Condition Score of 2, poor prognosis for recovery, euthanized). Mare – 20+ years old, sway backed, BLM said BCS 2, poor prognosis for recovery; Mare – 20+ years old,  BLM said “sway backed, BCS 2, poor prognosis for recovery;” Stallion- 20+ years old, BLM said “sway backed, BCS 2, poor prognosis for recovery, euthanized;” 1 mare BLM said “30+ years, body score 2 and unable to trailer;” 1 stud 20+ years BLM said “body score 2 and unable to trailer” with “cross legged neurological disorder;” 1 stud club foot, 1 yearling BLM said had “crooked legs;” 1 (stud ?) for having club foot; 3-year-old, BLM said “born with crooked knees leading to enlarged ankles – very lame, euthanized.”

You can learn more about the BLM policy “Guidance for Euthanasia” HERE. 


Brand name “Hot Shot” clearly visible

Oct 14:

1 death: 3-year-old, BLM said “born with crooked knees leading to enlarged ankles – very lame, euthanized.”

Today was the first day we observed loading of a semi to go to Litchfield (travel to trap has often taken well over an hour and a half from the meet zone in the morning). We saw a lot of commotion (where boards are added on one side of the loading chute) and pay special attention as we enlarged photos to the area.  We saw that “Hot Shot” pop out numerous times and it never appeared it was for “human or animal safety,” just convenience.

Note from manufacturer: Application The HOT-SHOT® prod is an electric livestock prod designed to assist in the movement of cattle and hogs.

61 wild horses were released today. We are working on the ling report to add photos, video and write up.

We will link long report HERE when complete.

Last run, at the last trap, as the sun sets.

October 13:

93 (36 stallions, 43 mares, 14 foals) captured. No deaths reported.

This is probably the last day of capture as there are hardly any horses left.

Treatment with fertility control and a release to low AML will probably occur tomorrow.

Files transferring. Long report will be posted soon.

October 12:

On the last day at this trap site in Fox Hog: a determined escape, a horse take a tumble and 36 wild horse are captured in the final squeeze of the trap location.
You can read our long report HERE>> https://bit.ly/3oZEXk8
No deaths reported.
Trap moves tomorrow.

Oct 11: Capture operations were suspended due to weather. However, another wild horse was euthanized for “club foot.”

Oct 10:

104 captured (23 studs, 56 mares, 23 foals)

One young mare was roped.

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One escape. Looked back at trap. Seen later still on the move passing other remnants of the herd left on the range.

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5 deaths:

1 mare BLM said “30+ years, body score 2 and unable to trailer;” 1 stud 20+ years BLM said “body score 2 and unable to trailer;” 1 stud club foot, 1 yearling BLM said had “crooked legs.” 1 stud BLM said had “pre-existing lameness.”

BLM stated a few days ago that they would not kill any horse that could trailer. Sanctuary option was available. They said they would ship to Litchfield so that the horses would have an option. Today they claimed none of the horses put down could ride a trailer.

Our long report for the day HERE.

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October 9

After a release of 13 studs back into High Rock a new trap was set a few miles off the eastern border inside Fox Hog.

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86 wild horses were captured (33 studs, 35 mares, 18 foals).

Long report with video HERE

October 8:

128 (55 studs, 47 mares, 26 foals) captured today.

The lame horse that came in yesterday was euthanized. This brings the number of deaths to 14.

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One foal missed the trap and was roped.

Our team is back on-site tomorrow.

October 7: View long report, including video, here.

Total captured for the day was 132. Rain, cold.

October 6:

82 captured (37 Studs, 37 Mares, 8 Foals) No deaths.

Trap moved into High Rock today and will continue tomorrow at that same trap.

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Oct 5: No capture. Today, the  the agency released wild horses back into Massacre Lakes, Bitner, Nut Mountain and Wall Canyon HMAs. Exact numbers released back into each HMA have not been provided at this time. (you can see a post on the pzp treatment and release HERE)

36 mares were treated with PZP. A stallion broke his neck during loading for release. 3 older horses BLM classified as body score “2” and put them down.

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Oct 4: 45 wild horses captured.

A wild horse escaped trap and refused to be driven back in by the chopper. Roping crew went out and brought the horse in.

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Today operations were outside HMA. Mornings are starting to get cold. Horses coming in appear of very good body score.

Noted at holding: swollen lumps that could be indicative of pigeon fever. Pigeon fever is common in domestic (California) populations in fall and is believed to be spread by flies. BLM said vet on-site will evaluate and we will update you soon.

Oct 3: 69 captured, 1 stallion released. High Rock HMA. 

2 deaths: Stallion, estimated older than 20-years-old. BLM said “Body Condition Score of 2, poor prognosis for recovery, euthanized;” Stallion, estimated older than 30-years-old. BLM said Henneke Body Condition Score of 2, poor prognosis for recovery, euthanized.

Our team stated they saw no body score 2 horses for the last two days. Most horses appear 4-6. More on body score HERE

Oct 2: High Rock HMA. 69 wild horses trapped. 

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Our team had trouble sending files. We took a few fast screenshots from a single video clip. We will update this page as video and images arrive. 

Horses vaulting a ditch at the beginning of the wings.

Update: At the trap we have 3 volunteers that joined us last year: Summer Brennan, Stace Contompasis and Kendall Palamountain. A wild horse from High Rock named Amado was adopted by Summer and all 3 of them have a relationship with Amado.

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Having them out at High Rock, at the exact trap Amado was captured from in 2011, is an important “full circle” event. We will hear more from the team about the experience as the operation moves forward. They arrived very late from a long flight in and then headed out to trap very early the next morning.

Oct 1: 65 captured. 1 death: 1 month old foal put down. BLM said foal was orphaned and dehydrated.

Sept 30: 133 captured. 15 stallions released. 2 deaths: Mare, estimated older than 25-years-old put down for poor body score; Stallion, estimated older than 30-years-old for poor body score.

Sept 29: 32 captured. 2 deaths: 2 mares over 25-years-old put down for poor body condition.

Sept 28: 142 captured. 2 deaths: Stud estimated over 25-years-old for poor body score, Mare over 25-years-old put down for poor body score.


 

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Categories: Lead, Wild Horse Education