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Gazette Staff

Seven young males were selected for adoption after the roundup of 14 horses last week from the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, 60 miles southwest of Billings.

A helicopter-assisted roundup crew collected the horses between Wednesday and Friday. The animals are being held at the Bureau of Land Management's corrals at its Britton Springs facility northeast of Lovell, Wyo.

The young stallions include one yearling, four 2-year-olds, one 3-year-old and a 4-year-old gathered from the Bighorn Canyon area and along lower Sykes Ridge.

With the removal of the stallions, the Pryor Mountain wild horse herd numbers 163, including 141 adults and yearlings and 22 foals.

In addition to the stallions, one family group that had been trapped in the canyon this summer was corralled.

"The concern is that given animal and range condition, most of these animals will not survive the winter," according to Linda Coates-Markle, a wild horse and burro specialist for the BLM.

The horses were in poor shape and a decision was made to keep the animals in the corrals for about a month to rehabilitate them.

One 4-year-old and a 12-year-old mare in the family group will also be injected with birth control drugs, due to their ill health.

In addition to the roundup, the helicopter herded horses off Forest Service lands on and below Commissary Ridge. Plans to remove bachelors from the upper elevations of the Pryor Mountains was not attempted due to a lack of funds.

The seven young stallions removed from the Pryors will be included in a new adoption program this fall that emphasizes Spanish-type wild horses from three BLM ranges. The adoption will also include horses from the Sulphur range in Utah and the Kiger range in Oregon.

The Pryor stallions can be viewed at the Britton Springs facility between 5:30 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment on weekends. To reserve a time, telephone (307) 548-2706.

Information on adopting a horse can be found at www.adoptahorse.blm.gov/.

Bidding will begin Oct. 29 and run through Nov. 20.

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