Announcing the arrival of the Navajo orphaned foals to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, Hot Springs, South Dakota

For Immediate Release – October 20, 2013

Announcing the arrival of the Navajo orphaned foals to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, Hot Springs, South Dakota.

“In making a public statement against horse slaughter in any form; we at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary wanted to support the Wild for Life Foundation’s Navajo Rescue and Recovery Mission by providing permanent sanctuary for some of the foals whose mother’s were sent slaughter.”

“It is our continued goal to save lives, offer hope and grant freedom to wild horses in peril.  We are pleased to work in partnership with the Wild for Life Foundation’s Navajo Rescue and Recovery Mission.  These foals will remain at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in Hot Springs, South Dakota for the rest of their lives and are guaranteed a lifetime of freedom. We hope this partnership will continue into the future by helping other wild foals and horses in peril. ” says, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary Program Director, Susan Watt
"We are proud to partner with the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary  as an official WFLF Wild Horse Sanctuary Partner,” says Katia Louise, filmmaker, founder and president of the Wild For Life Foundation (WFLF). "We look forward to a long lasting partnership for the benefit of America's wild horses."
17 surviving Navajo foals were recently rescued by Wild for Life Foundation’s Lifetime Equine Refuge. The foals had been discovered in a life threatening situation after being rounded up from their Native home land on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. The foals ranging in ages from 2 - 4 months were orphaned during the roundups after losing their mothers to slaughter.
Volunteer rescue members from the Wild for Life Foundation’s Navajo Horse Rescue and Recovery Mission have put their lives on hold to rescue, recover, evacuate and provide care for these survivors; to assure they will never be subject to roundup or slaughter again.

Katia Louise  organized the rescue mission. The foals were transported out of New Mexico to Nevada where the remaining foals have been receiving continued medical care, plenty of milk replacer, feed, hay and lots of TLC under the Wild for Life Foundation.

"This is just the beginning for these orphaned foals," says Katia Louise. "It's going to take months for many of these little ones to heal, build their strength up and overcome the physical and emotional injuries they sustained during the roundups." The foals are being placed over time, some into WFLF’s own program, some with approved adopters, and others at specially approved rescues and sanctuaries at various locations across the US, as they become rested and gain the strength needed for the next leg of their journey(s). Their progress will be closely monitored and if needed they will be returned safely to WFLF’s Lifetime Equine Refuge.
The Navajo roundups were hinged on drought conditions combined with a popular livestock grazing campaign which alleges an overpopulation of “feral” and “destructive” horses.  However, The actual number of horses residing on the Navajo reservation is uncertain, as there has been no census, and reports are considerably varied.  Horses are labeled as “invasive species” by the livestock industry as a means to justify their removal from the rangelands.  
However, in other parts of the world such as the United Kingdom, where conservation grazing is practiced, wild horse herds are being successfully restored to the woodlands and pastures to restore the lands.   In the classic book, Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West,  J. Boone Kauffman, Ph.D., Professor of Ecosystem Sciences in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, gives testimony to the far-reaching and devastating ecological consequences of government-subsidized livestock grazing through his scientifically supported work, “Lifeblood of the West”; “… livestock grazing has been the most widespread cause of ecological degradation of riparian/stream ecosystems.  More riparian areas and stream miles are affected by livestock grazing than by any other type of land use.”
Approximately 1,600 horses and burros were swept away from their Native homes as a result of the recent Navajo Nation roundups and they were reportedly shipped for slaughter.
In a recent turn of events the widely contested Navajo roundups have been temporarily suspended by Navajo President Ben Shelly under pressure from his own people including the Nahooka’ Dine’ (Navajo Elders and Medicine People), together with the Wild for Life Foundation, and the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife, an organization founded by Gov. Richardson and actor, director and conservationist Robert Redford. The foundation is working to stop the slaughter of horses, including actively fighting efforts to reopen horse slaughterhouses in the United States.
“These sacred and majestic horses heal our hearts and they can heal the lands,” adds Katia Louise. “As Ambassadors for the horse nation, these 17 surviving foals through WFLF will be helping to educate and show the world that the re-introduction of horses to rangelands, in truth can rejuvenate the environment.”
Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist, Wild for Life Foundation Board Member, and author of “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” points out that wild horses are a big benefit to the ecosystem. They help to create that very important soil substance known as Humus...which makes the soils more nutrient-rich, adhesive and more retentive to water. This aids greatly in increasing the moisture of soils and elevating the water tables. The manure of wild horses builds the soils and disperses the intact seeds of many species to a much greater degree than cattle and sheep. Wild free-roaming horses also greatly reduce the possibility of catastrophic fires which can sterilize the soils and destroy its seed banks.
About The Wild For Life Foundation:
Wild for Life Foundation (WFLF) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity dedicated to saving, protecting and preserving equines through rescue, sanctuary and education.  WFLF and its wild horse preservation initiative serves as an educational platform for the protection of wildlife through the provision of long term sanctuary of wild horses and burros removed from America's rangelands. WFLF and its Saving America’s Horses Initiative is an international consortium of scientists, equine welfare experts, researchers, and horse advocates collaborating efforts to promote wild horse conservation and preservation initiatives with a focus on the prevention of equine cruelty. WFLF supports comprehensive and science-based solutions that lead to systemic change, reduce suffering, and cultivate a more compassionate society.  WFLF promotes the preservation of natural ecosystems, wildlife and the prevention of cruelty to equines, and opposes practices that threaten the environment, wildlife and that cause suffering to animals.
On the Web – Federal ID No. 26-3052458

About Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary:

The Institute of Range and American Mustang, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1988 by Dayton O. Hyde, owns 11,000 acres of private land dedicated to range preservation and a balanced ecosystem. I.R.A.M.’s finest gift is the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, whose purpose is to provide not only freedom for unadoptable and unwanted wild horses, but also a research area dedicated to solving wild horse herd management that will contribute to the well-being of wild horses everywhere.

BHWHS Photo credit: Karla R. LaRive (2013)