Recently, a young filly called “Kat Ballou” was killed during a Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) bait trap roundup of Wyoming’s McCullough Peaks horses.
Kat Ballou died from a head injury as a result of roundup operations. She was only a year old and her death was traumatic and preventable.
Per the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC):
On January 22, 2024, 10 wild horses, including Kat Ballou and her mom, Keota, were captured in the bait trap. The BLM staff decided to release Keota and five other horses, separating Kat Ballou and her mother. She and three other young horses were kept overnight in temporary holding before being shipped to short-term holding for processing and potential adoption. Sometime between the departure of BLM staff and the following morning, tragedy struck. Kat Ballou was found dead in the pen, having succumbed to a traumatic head injury. It is believed that she died while trying to escape and reunite with her mother.
She was not the only young horse separated from her mother. A young foal identified as Skydancer was only four months old and forcibly removed from her mother during this roundup. The other two captured horses were brothers Bandero, aged five months, and Brumby, just under two years old.
The BLM’s decision to separate young horses from their mothers, then leave them unattended overnight demonstrates a callous disregard for the well-being of these innocent animals. In fact, this treatment of wild horses is unconscionable and unacceptable.
It should be noted that the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the McCullough Peaks roundup indicates that the peak of the foaling season starts on February 1st. During this time, the BLM must avoid wild horse roundups six weeks before the start of this time as fragile foals are just being born. In spite of this directive, the McCullough Peaks bait trap roundup goes on and young foals are not being spared.