The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

BLM Releases Statement About “Honey Bandit” September 10, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on September 16, 2010


Honey Bandit Wild Horse September 10, 2010

The BLM is grateful that Lauri “Palomino” Armstrong of Shingletown continues to provide personal care for the wild horse foal she obtained from our Litchfield Corrals in Susanville on Thursday, Sept. 2 and named “Honey Bandit.”  We are encouraged by reports of his slow improvement, but understand he still has a long road to full recovery.

BLM staff have visited and talked with Ms. Armstrong and have determined that officially, she adopted Honey Bandit as of September 9, and therefore BLM will pay all her veterinarian bills from the time she picked the foal up on September 2 until the adoption on September 9.  BLM has also offered ongoing consultation with our contract veterinarian and provided a supply of horse milk formula. 

The foal came into the corrals with its mother during the ongoing Twin Peaks gather which began August 11; the exact date of their arrival at Litchfield is being researched.  On Sept. 1 the BLM’s contract veterinarian checked the mare and foal and observed no injuries to the foal.  On Sept. 2 the corral staff noted that the foal’s condition had deteriorated as its mother had ceased lactating (providing milk) and it had suffered numerous bite marks.  The foal had likely been bitten or kicked by its mare or other mares when it tried to nurse.

Ms. Armstrong was coincidentally visiting Litchfield and offered to provide foster care to the foal.  At the time, the paperwork to adopt was started, but was not officially completed at that time.

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11 Responses to “BLM Releases Statement About “Honey Bandit” September 10, 2010”

  1. Morgan Griffith said

    Here’s the BLM trying to CYA. Sorry their vet reports seem to indicate a sequence of events that is disturbing to say the least.

    • Morgan,
      I still don’t know quite what to make of this situation. While yes, it is possible for stress to induce a biological response in the mare that would cause her to cease lactating, it seems odd to me that she would then bite her foal when he tried to nurse.
      Now, if he had attempted to nurse from other mares after she’d gone dry, then I could see the bites from them and their foals. But it also seems likely to me that the dam would at least try to defend her foal from such attacks.
      I dunno. So many things are happening at once right now.
      I don’t think this is all just CYA. I think this is them fulfilling their job duties, but I don’t think it’s CYA just because what good will it do?
      T.

      • Morgan Griffith said

        Seems to me that when they should have been doing their job is when the vet noted that HB was losing weight. Why did a visitor to the facility see this right away and they didn’t. Just seems too convenient to me. I see their statement and the timing of their statement as nothing more than PR (they are after all the ones that hired a PR firm) to try and get out from under having mismanaged HB. My thoughts is that instead of relying on one vet to try to medically manage hundreds of traumatized horses–difficult for any medical professional, that they could look into bringing on student vets or techs or something that place more trained eyes on the ground. Then perhaps we wouldn’t have these type of stories.

        • tracielynnthompson@yahoo.com said

          Agreed on the more eyes on the ground vs 1 vet. I am still confused about the time though… I had read on one of HB’s updates that when Palomino arrived, she heard the foal – not that she found him and alerted staff – and that the staff was aware of the situation when she arrived and were trying to decide the best course of action. Then Palomino arrived – talk about answered horsey prayers!
          And I am still trying to figure out who the PR firm is that I keep hearing about. When were they hired? Who are they?
          (Wow, I either need more coffee or more sleep LOL!)
          T.
          Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

          • Morgan Griffith said

            I’ll have to look back for a bit, somewhere I have the name of the PR firm. I don’t know if I have the contract date but I might. Get back to ya on that one.

          • Morgan Griffith said

            Kearns & West–hired obstensibly to help push through the Salazar plan. Here’s their info
            http://www.holmesreport.com/details.cfm?agencyid=289

          • I thought that they were hired during the Environmental Conflict Resolution plan to help with the Denver meeting’s preparation?

          • sandra longley said

            Yes we all thought they were hired with taxpayer dollars to actually supply a resolution process to the standoff between the BLM and outraged taxpayers..but it turns out..it was a PR move to try and show congress they were attempting to resolve the conflict..and taxpayers..payed their own way to the meeting to participate in yet another meaningless CYA facade

          • tracielynnthompson@yahoo.com said

            Ah… Got it.
            Are they still in contract with BLM?
            T.

          • Morgan Griffith said

            I don’t know if they are still contracted with BLM or what exactly is the scope of their contract. I plan on asking the BLM but what do you think are the chances that I will get a straight answer? I was under the impression that the scope of their activities was larger than just the meeting, which could have just as easily been hosted by any BLM employee–listening to the podcast there was much valuable input but look out any window? Seen any of the ideas presented even show a glimmer of being acted upon?

  2. I found in a BLM contract bid announcement for long term holding that the contractor is required by BLM to observe the horses at minimum of once a week. This is for geldings and mares. Most people I know that care about their animals observe them several times a day or at feeding time. Mares and foals rounded up and placed in close quarters should be observed throughout the day. It just appears that the BLM isn’t doing the job or frankly that they don’t really care. And then they spend our good money on a Public Relations firm to make it “appear” all better.

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