Video shows wild horse chasing helicopter with broken leg in Nevada
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – New footage of a federal government roundup of feral horses in Nevada sparks outrage.
According to the federal government, there is not enough room for horses on public lands, so they are raiding. These roundups are controversial and a recently shared video may explain why.
Video obtained by KLAS from Nexstar shows a young horse with a broken leg among a group of feral horses captured by the Bureau of Land Management. The other horses run away while the injured horse is left alone, in difficulty.
The roundup is taking place on land known as the Pancake Complex, nearly 1.2 million acres 30 miles west of Ely in eastern Nevada.
The BLM insists there is only room for just over 600 horses while estimating the current population at over 3,200.
“We were ignored, but now Pancake is getting attention because of the sacrifice of this young life,” said Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education, the group that provided the video to the KLAS I-Team.
She tried to fight in court to stop the BLM from doing roundups like these.
According to the BLM, from Tuesday to Thursday this week, seven horses died, two of them from wounds from the roundup.
“I hope it’s not in vain and that these images speak a thousand words and say them more clearly than I ever could,” Leigh said.
As I-Team reported in November, some feral horse advocates say fertility control by methods like darts is more humane and effective.
Leigh says that while this may be part of the solution, the BLM needs to manage the pitch better.
“We are removing feral horses for pipelines, for mines, rapidly expanding mining in the West, livestock, packs of wild animals are jumping on them, we have sage grouse plans coming. And, again, wild horses are just a scapegoat because there is no management plan to protect them,” Leigh said.
She’s been documenting the raids for years.
Video from August at the Antelope Resort, another northern Nevada chain, shows helicopters approaching the animals. Some horses are seen falling.
The BLM reports that a total of 11 horses have died, including four from injuries as a result of the roundup.
“They don’t see them as individuals and they don’t care about the stakeholder looking after wild horses in any way,” Leigh said. “And that should make everyone angry.”
After the horses are captured, they are placed in government paddocks. Some are adopted or sold at auction and then some of them end up being sold to be put down.
The I-Team has made numerous requests for interviews with the BLM on the matter but, over the past year, no one from the agency has agreed to speak with KLAS.