The mustangs and wild burros slated for adoption at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds are currently under a Bureau of Land Management self-imposed quarantine.
The quarantine was put in place as a precaution after one of the horses brought to the event died and another was euthanized Thursday after showing signs of severe colic and endotoxemia. Endotoxemia can be caused by toxins entering a horse’s bloodstream, which can lead to shock, inflammation and death.
BLM officials are working with a local veterinary hospital and animal health officials to investigate the cause of the problem.
All of the other 98 horses and burros that were brought in for the event appear to be healthy. Officials said there was no reason to believe the problem will extend to the other animals, but they won’t be moved until they have a clean bill of health.
BLM’s Montana and Dakotas wild horse program lead Jerrie Bertola said people can still come the fairgrounds, look at the horses and burros, and fill out the adoption paperwork if they are interested in adopting one.
“We still have people showing up and looking at the animals,” Bertola said. “Our hope is that we will get the green light that everything is good and we can coordinate with people to pick up the animals they are interested in.
“The public has been very understanding and supportive,” she said. “We really couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
The horses and burros could be viewed up to 6 p.m. Friday, and between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, the hours are 8 a.m. to noon.
The horses and burros that are not adopted will be available to the public at a future adoption event.