“Why in the hell would the BLM geld a 26 year old Stallion that was headed to a sanctuary. Where is the logic, where is the compassion, where is the common sense? Dead is dead and the more the BLM fiddles around with the freedom and families of wild horses and burros the more the death count climbs. Many regrets sent out to those who were so devastated by this unnecessary tragedy. Our hearts are with you.” ~ R.T.
“If left on his rightful range he would be alive today“
Forgive me if this is not well-written, but I want our village of mustang warriors to be the first to know. It is with a broken heart that I am writing to tell you that our beloved Grulla #3907, Antonino, has left this Earth.
I was out of the country last week without cell service, and upon landing in the U.S. at 9:00 pm last night, I had two voicemails and a text from BLM Delta asking me to call them. This is not out of the ordinary, I figured they were calling to talk about finalizing the adoption of Antonino’s herd mate, but when I noticed the text was sent Saturday night, my heart sunk a little.
I called their cell phone, and there was an answer on the other end. He told me, he had bad news, and wanted to make sure I heard it from him first. He had been waiting for my call. I still wasn’t expecting him to tell me what came next…
He told me the vet came out to do geldings on July 28th. The vet had given Antonino anesthetic, he lie down, and went to sleep. But, when he went to sleep, he never woke up. My mind began to race…all of the other mustangs: Carlitos, Maximus, Enrique, his herd mates, they didn’t have any complications, how could this be? Then, my mind and body went numb, I couldn’t breathe, so I sat quietly at the airport and listened.
He told me the BLM management wanted to make a statement about Antonino’s death, but Delta had asked them to wait until they could tell me; they didn’t want me to hear about it from the media. He told me how upset they were at Delta and they knew it was devastating news. I thanked him for their compassion, and told him I was sorry as I know they truly care for the mustangs at Delta, too. He told me the BLM statement will be released on Monday. Please know, I have no idea what it will say.
The vet report said they didn’t proceed with gelding; that Antonino died from possible cardiac arrest from the anesthesia. This is the “medical” reason.
In my heart, I know this may be partially true. But, I have watched this magnificent mustang in holding over the past 5 months. We all have seen his sadness in the photos I’ve shared. He lost his freedom, his family; then, his two best friends were adopted and taken away a few weeks ago. If you ask me, I believe he died of a broken heart. With his freedom and family gone, he didn’t know I was coming. In just a few short weeks, I would have been there to take him away….
I know this is a lot to digest, but I wanted to let you all know personally, as Delta did for me. We all fought so hard for him, and prayed for him. I’m so sorry I will not be picking Antonino up the last week of August. I’m so sorry, he will not be meeting his family at the sanctuary. I’m so sorry, we will not see him running free again on this Earth. I do pray we will see him running free in our dreams.
At this point, I must try to lift my heavy heart as I remember his herd mate is waiting. And, I ask you to do the same. There is an empty spot on the trailer now. Another Sulphur herd mate still waiting in holding can take his spot, but we know he will never fill the void.