Surprise (images by capture date)

This page has been set up as a reference for people looking to find images of wild horses captured at Surprise they have adopted or are thinking of adopting.

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

The cumulative totals from the operation still do not add up; 1216 wild horses were captured and 1141 were shipped/released/died. This leaves 75 unaccounted for. This type of discrepancy is not unusual. BLM no longer publishes facility statistics. In the past we could use wild horses received at the facility to compare numbers to see where the error was (often the number a facility receives would add up to the number captured and simply imply that a days shipping was not included in the totals made public. However, with the stubborn refusal of the agency to (once again) add facility reports to update pages it leaves a real sense of unease.

Our team arrived on Oct 2 and stayed until the operation ended on Oct 14. WHE had a total of 5 team members on-site ( sometimes a team member is shooting both still and video, often one member focuses on video and others on stills and one will work off-site) and were the only org at the operation.

We will update this page with additional photos/video as time allows. Because of the volume (we have even more) this page may load slowly.

Oct 2 and 3:  (Wall Canyon/High Rock HMAs)

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Oct 4:

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Oct 5: No capture. Shipping to Litchfield corrals and release of mares treated with PZP-22. You can learn more about immunocontraception at Surprise HERE. 

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Oct 6: South side of High Rock where both High Rock and Fox Hog horses were captured (near Black Rock in the Calico HMA complex).

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Oct 7: South end of the High Rock HMA and Fox Hog HMA

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Oct 8: Same trap (captured both High Rock and Fox Hog)

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Oct 9:  Fox Hog was captured from this trap on this day; including a very young blue-eyed cremello.

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Oct. 10: Trap at Fox Hog. Two amazing horses took turns drawing the chopper off the band.

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Oct 11: no trapping

Oct 12: Fox Hog

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Oct 13: The last of Fox Hog captured.

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Oct 14: The last horses were shipped off to Litchfield and a release.

Litchfield youngsters segregated and could be seen from a road. Litchfield closed their door during the operation.

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Pigeon Fever followed these horses into holding where gelding began before the full quarantine period should have ended.

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Pigeon fever ran rampant through the pens. Pigeon Fever is highly contagious, rarely fatal.  Hot, dry weather facilitates this bacterial growth; late summer and fall,  dry/fall months, and the bacteria is spread by flies. The most common clinical signs are concurrent external abscess, decreased appetite, fever, lethargy, weight loss, and signs of respiratory disease or abdominal pain. Common treatment in domestic horses includes hot compresses, poultices, lancing and draining, with collection of the infected material for disposal far from other horses. These are not treatments given easily to a newly captive wild horse. Allowing the disease to run its course, usually about a month after the last case appears, is what usually occurs in wild horse holding facilities (think measles in people).


We hope this page gives you a chance to locate the date your Surprise wild one was captured, or at least give you an idea of what your horses family looked like.

We will try to add more to this page as time allows.


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