Protests continue around the country over the Bureau of Land Management's ongoing roundup of 2,500 wild horses in Nevada, including a rally scheduled for January 7 in downtown Denver. Groups outraged by the roundup, which they claim is unnecessary and is injuring and destroying horses, have released images of mustangs crowded in pens and shivering in the cold -- and now a dramatic series of still photos depicting a black stallion's desperate but ultimately successful effort to escape his captors.
"This was an awe-inspiring, do-or-die effort demonstrating the wild horse's loathing of captivity," reports Craig Downer, an ecologist who snapped some of the photos. Wild horse advocates have named the escapee "Freedom" and are hoping to use his "heroic" exit as a rallying point for their cause.
According to the report on the Humanity Through Education website, Freedom was captured along with eight mares and two colts on January 2 but spent only a few minutes in a holding pen before jumping a fence and busting through barbed wire, injuring himself in the process (see photo below). He is apparently still at large.
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Freedom busts through barbed wire and hits the road. Photo by Craig C. Downer.