It’s Tuesday night, and the temperature is dropping fast. It is hard to believe we are near the middle of July. The mountain air is fresh and clean, but I am worried that the dramatic changes in the weather are hard on Suri. She is still fighting her cough. It was getting better, but tonight she is coughing a lot more. Her temperature is pretty much perfect, “101”, and her nose is clear. So we will say a prayer and keep a close eye on her.
We are supposed to be heading to Nevada for the court case on Thursday. (DID THAT) It is so frustrating not finding a perfect solution for our wild horse management. Will they be wiped out? Are the gene pools going to be so damaged by human interference that ultimately they will disappear?
There are so many questions about the wild horses. Looking up I see DaBubbles playing with Patches. It reminds me of the day that we walked out, only to find him on the ground in shock, his neck torn wide open from the claws and teeth of the mountain lion that came into our yard at around 1 or so in the afternoon. We spent three months getting those wounds to heal. It was extremely painful for him, as anyone who has ever gotten an infection from a cat scratch or bite knows. He literally went through unspeakable pain when we had to clean inside of his neck, around the various muscles and interior parts to try and control his infection. I have to say, PTL though, as he bounces around like a ping pong ball as good as new. But what a horribly painful thing to endure.
It makes me think about why we have so many around. Talking to Fish & Game, he explained that there are various reasons why an area would have too many mountain lions. He told us how having “un-natural feeding habitats” will bring more and more to the area. One example he gave was a place nearby where they are still breeding wild horses. He explained it like this. “If you provide more than a normal amount of food”, you will bring in more than a normal amount of predators.
Now I understand that many people deem “birth control by mountain lion” a natural situation for babies in the wild. However, I wonder where we draw the line. Having lived with excruciating chronic pain for the last 33 years, I just don’t believe we should create circumstances where we know it will end up with an animal in horrible pain. We actually interrupted a kill a couple of years ago when we were out riding one evening. The baby had been run into a fence by the mountain lion. She was lucky in the fact that her neck broke, so she died before she was actually torn apart, but the fear and terror she would have felt would have been awful. So creating this scenario is something I have a very hard time with. But of course I am looking at it from a “bleeding heart” stand point.
In the wild, there are normally a few mares that will be impregnated by the stallions. God had a perfect plan, and He made sure that the stallions in the wild instinctively know which mares should be bred. They don’t just run around all crazy and cover every mare. Also, in the wild, the band could easily cover 12 miles or so a day. (Of course they are not running during the heat of the day, but they can cover quite a bit of ground anyway.) The older or sick mares will need all their energy to survive and travel with the band. The stallions do not breed these mares. However, in captivity, (and also after the roundups) things are not “natural” and mares get bred that would not without human interference. So in captivity, you have 40- 50 babies in a tiny area. That is also not what happens in the wild. You will never go out and see wild horses and 40 or 50 babies so close together. But because the horses need to be fed in captivity, they spend lots more time closer together. Thus you have a veritable “buffet”, if you will, for the cats.
While so many horses are going to slaughter, do we want to be sending more, by allowing uncontrolled breeding in captivity? I understand that most of the babies are not surviving, so therefore aren’t needing to be adopted, but is this humane birth control? The ones that do survive are like the cats and dogs that are born nowadays. For every new one, another one ends up in the pound, or goes to slaughter or whatever. We need to find homes for the existing critters before we start bringing more and more into the world just because people like to see babies. I understand that there are certain breeds of all animals that are working and need to be bred, but we don’t need more animals that are pretty much unwanted and with so many of them needing homes. It is sad that while humans try to “rescue” animals, we also create so many problems when we interfere with nature. Honey Bandit was healthy and happy on the range, and then nearly died due to “human interference”. The babies born in captivity are being set up for slaughter by the mountain lions due to human interference. Only in the wild does it seem like the “plan” works. The sick and weak are eaten, thus protecting the health of continuing generations, but it is done naturally, and not due to our interference.
Another side effect of this according to Fish & Game is that locally we are ending up with more and more cats and they are becoming more and more lazy. They grow up eating from the “buffet”, and no longer want to “hunt”. They acquire a taste for “domestic animals”, and start eating our cats, dogs, horses and goats. What if it would have been a toddler in our yard instead of a baby mini?????? The elementary and pre- school, are less than half a mile away. About 3 minutes by cat time. If we are not careful, we are going to lose more than our livestock. Fish and Game also told me that if people would start reporting the attacks on their livestock, we could actually do something about the problem. He said that they are well aware of the fact that there is a big problem, but with no incidents on record, they cannot do anything about it. A fact that I found very interesting is that you cannot kill a mountain lion if it attacks your dog or cat, only livestock. But you are legal to kill one if it is attacking your livestock, so we need to start reporting them and getting a record on paper.
It seems like a natural solution to this issues is simple, quit breeding more babies until we have homes for the thousands that are going to slaughter and left to starve. There is such a horrific problem with wild and domestic alike that people are finding horses left by the side of the road, tied to their trailers when they come back from a ride, and the mustangs are piling up by the thousands in corrals , left to live in pens if they don’t end up at slaughter houses. IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE!