High Country News reports on the Bureau of Land Management’s latest attempt to figure out what to do with all the wild horses caught in the annual roundup: An eBay-style auction site:
Since the Bureau of Land Management became responsible for wild mustangs in 1971, eligible horses and burros have been swishing their tails in government corrals and pastures, just waiting—for you. These mares, and many others, were “gathered” from BLM land, where they often run roughshod over fragile habitat and compete with wildlife for forage. Hoping to pick up the sluggish pace of adoptions, the BLM now holds auctions online in addition to in-person sales. It’s eBay in the true sense of the word. You can browse a gallery of headshots that beg your affection. Or at least the shelter of your corral.
My favorite part of the program: Extreme Mustang Makeover, where adopters compete to see who can best “gentle” their horses. The prize ain’t too shabby: $100,000! Wonder if any of the horse-taming prisoners Michael Behar wrote about in his Mother Jones story “Mustang Redemption” are eligible to win?
Read Michael Behar’s story here. See a photoessay about the prison program here.