ELDER MUSTANG GETS A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE!






I love stories like this… Montgomery Creek Ranch.

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Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Every day the staff at Montgomery Creek Ranch (MCR) receives requests to take in mustangs that people no longer want or can care for. Unfortunately, our sanctuary is operating at full capacity and so by and large these requests must be turned down. It’s heartbreaking that we can’t save them all.

But every once in a while, a horse finds us.

Late this spring, MCR team member Rachel came across a post on Facebook of an elderly Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mustang at an infamous kill pen in Texas who would be shipping to Mexico for slaughter the very next day. The photo depicted a skinny, graying mustang with a very visible BLM brand standing tied to a post looking helpless

Something about him spoke to us, and we knew we had to take him in. The decision was made that he would live at our smaller, satellite facility in Sonoma.

Before we had even met him, we named him Brownie.

His journey to MCR began with a month of quarantine in Texas and a trailer ride to California. Everyone who saw him or spent time with him commented on how sweet and gentle he was and how much he really liked to be with people. It was clear that Brownie had been loved by someone and we wondered how he could end up in such a sad situation.

Brownie’s BLM Brand. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Brownie’s BLM Brand. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

We deciphered his BLM freezemark — which is made up of alpha angle symbols — and have confirmed with the BLM that he was rounded up in Nevada as a young foal in 1993 which makes him 26 years old. He was adopted in 1993 by someone in El Cajon, CA and titled to that adopter in 1995. From 1995 until now, his story is a mystery.

Now that he has been with us for a month, we’ve learned a few things about him. He’s very personable and likes to follow people around for pets and scratches. We discovered that Brownie has Cushing’s Disease — a dysfunction of the pituitary gland that results in hormonal imbalances, causing a variety of clinical signs not limited to muscle wasting, weight loss and inflammation of the feet. He will be on daily medication to help with ailments, help him gain weight and make him more comfortable as he grazes with his friends in the pasture for the rest of his life.

Brownie with MCR Founder, Ellie. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Brownie with MCR Founder, Ellie. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

 

 

Brownie with MCR Founder, Ellie. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl


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Humans and Cattle and ZEBRAS, OH MY!






Remember how I told you that the zebras – from the early days of the Hearst Castle Zoo – still mingle in the hills with the Hearst Ranch cattle?!

Well, today, on my way to work, I saw a gaggle of people along the fence line of the pastures on HWY 1.  I knew they had spotted zebra!

You see, the thing is… these cattle have miles and miles to roam.  So, they aren’t always visible.  Today, I knew something was up because of all of the tourists clamoring along the fence with their phones extended in their arms.

So, I decided to do the same!

I knew I had just about 4 minutes to accomplish my goal of zebra gawking.  I pulled off the highway and parked my car along the shoulder.  Then, I ran up the hill to the fence.  At this point, the sun was directly in my eyes so I had no idea what I was actually photographing, but I aimed and did my best.

Then, I ran down the hill back to my car – to work (about another 5 minutes away).

(I realize that the professional photographs found online of the Hearst Ranch Zebras  – are much better than mine!)

PHOTO JOURNAL

I could see all the humans stopped on the side of the road. I knew there had been a zebra sighting! So, I pulled over, too.

I got out of my car…

Here I am, up to the fenceline. You can see the zebras in the herd. There were about 12 zebras.

I zoomed in on a small group. To be honest, the sun was right in my eyes so I couldn’t tell what I was doing.

I swear, this cow look like a zebracow! She must be influenced by her friends!

Another set of zebra. The cows look very relaxed in the background.

Here I am walking back to my car. You can see how close the herd is to the Pacific Ocean. This huge area of oceanfront is not developed due to the Hearst family.

This was my lunch spot today… I put an arrow where I saw the herd. They roam all of those pasturelands (1000s of acres) on the Pacific Coast Highway and across the highway. Luckeeeee herd!


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