The last Stand

When Freedom, Isn't better

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Update: As of Spring 2022, Twister is still alive and 'well'. The herd she is with stays in a relatively inaccessible portion of the park  between Ridgeline Trail and the Interstate.  As it has been 8 months since I have seen her personally, I cant describe what physical condition she is currently in without speculation. 

I Have a feeling that not everyone is going to love this.

But I also believe it needs to be said.

Poor Twister, This is the hard truth of wild life.

This is the hard truth of "Leaving them wild"

Here a couple years ago, Twister got in the middle of a brawl between two stallions and managed to break her lower front leg.

I know at least a dozen people who called the rangers and let them know that she was so hard up. I watched her walk myself and her leg was literally flopping around with each step. It must have been agonizing.

The Ranger's hands are tied by the people that would rather screech "leave them wild". They could do nothing for her other than put her down, or let her alone to see if she could sort it out.

This is how nature sorted her out. Her fetlock fused underneath, every step must be agonizing for her, but hey, she is wild.

Look at her mouth, tight and drawn, look at her ears, tipped back, look at the overall tension in her face. Look at how long her hoof has grown since she is no longer wearing it off. Look at how thin she is, how hard it must be for her to make it to water, or good grazing.

Think of how often she must be left behind to hobble after the rest of the herd who can move across this county so effortlessly. I don't have any video of how she short steps with each hobble, because hey her front leg is a good 6 inches shorter on one side.

This is what "Leave them wild" really looks like.

It's ugly, and it's heartbreaking to watch. There are no predators in the park that would pick her off. She is destined to spend the rest of her life steps behind her herd unable to keep up despite her best efforts, and in pain likely every moment of it.

Was it better to let her sort it out and 'leave her wild' or would it have been kinder to let her go rest where there would be no pain?

I don't have an answer any more than anyone else possibly could.

The park gave Twister the shot to live or to lay down and let the injury take it, she pushed through it and is still alive.

But this is what the face of "Leave them wild" can look like.

When you advocate for something so rabidly one way instead of a holistic solution, this is the side effects of it. Because of all the people that like to say "leave them wild" without heed of the consequences. Twister is paying the cost for that.

The park had no choice but to leave her alone. Instead of showing her the humanity and help they could have, the rangers had to just leave her wild.

She is paying the cost for the tug your heartstrings "arms of an angel" playing the background ideology.

Are you happy now? I know a good portion of my followers will post saying how wonderfully resilient she is, to have withstood such an injury and still be around to make it.

Horses are stoic creatures, they seldom tell you they are hurting or off. Running from predators in their instinctual past has kept that trick. They are grazers and showing any weakness could be a death sentence.

Look at her and tell me she is living her best life, that she is enjoying life, that she is better off "wild and free".

To be clear, I support the park in their management efforts. I fully realize their hands are tied in miles of red tape.

They had no right option.

My point is entirely to those who feel their arm chair Google pseudoscience phds know more than those who have spent years in study and in practice that we pay with our tax money to responsibly manage our wild lands and the animals that live there.

(originally written May 2021)

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