Wild horse and burro program finds new homes for animals, strengthens ecosystems

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WEST BEND, Wis. (CBS 58) -- An event to sell wild horses and burros is set to become a yearly effort in southeastern Wisconsin to help address environmental concerns hundreds of miles away.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hosted a Wild Horse and Burro Program event at the Washington County Fairgrounds on Friday, Sept. 9. The program helps animals from western states find new homes while also addressing overpopulation concerns.

"Our horse population is over the appropriate management level," BLM public affairs specialist Martha Malik told CBS 58. "There's currently over 82,000 animals that are still on the ranges and these kinds of events like this helps to balance out the ecosystems."

Without these types of events, risks increase for the animal populations in states like Nevada and Wyoming.

"If they aren't in balance what happens is we run into starvation, not everybody finding enough food and possibly dying," Malik explained.

The event brought people in from across the region, including Donna Manzer of Kirkland, Ill.

"They're awesome," Manzer said of the wild horses.

Manzer leases horses out to 4H programs and rides horses on trails in her home state.

"This is my eighth mustang that I've adopted and they've all been really interesting horses and I just enjoy doing it," Manzer said. "I like getting them started and finding a good home for them."

Going forward, the bureau plans on making the event in West Bend an annual effort to help the environment as well as giving the majestic animals a better future.

"It feels great to be a part of this it's always nice to be around these animals," Malik said. "They feel spiritual, they give off a different vibe than any other animal does and it's just a nice experience."

The event is scheduled to continue on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More info. from the Bureau of Land Management is found here:

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