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Is Freedom Free? Calico Wild Horse Roundup Concludes

Early on in the controversial round up of wild horses in the Calico range north of Reno, NV, a black stallion earned the nickname Freedom when he jumped a fence and escaped. It’s unclear if the Bureau of Land Management caught him, but if he made it so far, he’s all set. The Bureau of Land Management says they’re stopping the roundup at 1,922 mustangs instead of the 2,500 they set out to catch. In the process 30 have died.

It’s not because they’ve had a change of heart. They fought a lawsuit to stop the roundup. They’ve fought activists who want to document the gather. It’s just that the horses have moved off the range–as if they’d caught onto what’s going on.

Craig Downer and Elyse Gardner reported on Freedom’s escape on January 2 in Action for Wild Horses: “the captured band stallion, “Freedom,” valiantly fought for and regained his liberty although he had to leave his family of 8 adult mares and 2 colts. Jumping a 6-foot fence and immediately thereafter breaking through a barbed wire fence and injuring himself, this was an awe-inspiring, do-or-die effort demonstrating the loathing of captivity to a wild horse and his need for freedom.”

When I talked with some horse activists at a Madeleine Pickens event last month, they said they’d heard Freedom had been captured but everyone was appealing to set him free again. I haven’t found anyone who knows for sure. I would like to think he made it and somehow communicated to the other horses that something bad was going on.

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