The Red Desert in Wyoming is an ideal place for wild horses to live and thrive. However, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) argues that there is an overpopulation of horses there.BLM officials explain that because of the overpopulation, horses end up starving to death during the winter. In order to avoid that, they round them up.
Using helicopters, they remove them from the desert and warehouse them in holding facilities. Once female horses are treated with fertility control, they are returned to the land.One of the families that were removed in 2019, was Blue Zeus, his mares, and his babies.Local sanctuary director, Clare Staples, had been observing the family for years and it was actually one of her favorite.
More than anything, she felt a special connection with patriarch Blue Zeus.
“That was the epitomy of a wild horse family that were so bonded and so loving,” Staples explained.
As the woman pointed out, she never let herself get attached to a horse because there was always the possiblity of it getting rounded up. But with Blue Zeus, she just couldn’t help it.
“He was what we were fighting for here at Skydog; keep horses wild and free,” she said.
Indeed, in 2020 the family was rounded up. Blue Zeus was transferred to a holding facility to “live in a dirt pen”, as Staples put it.
However, the woman was determined to not let the beautiful, proud mustang rot in his cell. She would do anything she needed to in order to set him free.
Every day, Staples would send an email to the facility or call to ask whether and when she would be allowed to visit him. But it was all in vain. She never got an answer.
In the meantime, the only thing she could do was pray that the horse would survive.
Finally, she found out there would be an adoption event. Of course, she attended it.
The horse she saw had nothing to do with Blue Zeus she used to know. However, he was alive and this was what counted.
“He had some cuts and marks on him, but it was him,” Staples recalled. “Even though he was a shadow of his former self, he still had this nobility and pride.”
Staples got him for only $25- she couldn’t believe it. So, then she took him to the sanctuary and started working on making him his old self again.
But, although the horse was happy to run free again, there was something that was still hurting him. It was obvious that he was missing his family.
The woman made it her life mission to find his family and reunite him with them all.
Indeed, months later, she managed to do it.
When the horse was reunited with his family, it was a tear-jerker. His mares and babies followed him in line, making it clear that they knew exactly who he was and letting him know that they all respected him.
Staples couldn’t hold back her tears when the reunion happened.
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