News Release

Mesa Verde National Park Successfully Removed 16 Trespass Horses

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Date: September 27, 2022
Contact: Paul Morey, 970-529-5002
Contact: Naaman Horn, 720-262-1058

Mesa Verde, CO:  Mesa Verde National Park successfully gathered a band of 16 feral/trespass horses for removal.  The captured livestock will be available for future adoption through the National Mustang Association Colorado Chapter  (NMACO).  The operation occurred on Saturday, September 24.  The entire band was gathered using low-stress capture and handling methods. 

Park staff in consultation with a low-stress animal handing expert had conditioned the band for eventual capture for nearly three years by providing them food and water.  For this operation, the capture pen was baited with food and water.  As horses came into the capture pen to feed, the gate was closed behind them.  The horses are currently being cared for by park staff and qualified veterinarians.  The park is working directly with the NMACO as a partner for the horse removal project and will be transferring ownership of unbranded and unclaimed horses to the NMACO. 

Trespass livestock have been present in the park for decades.  Mesa Verde National Park was established to preserve and protect the prehistoric architecture, artifacts, and landscapes associated with the occupation of Mesa Verde by Ancestral Pueblo people.  The presence of trespass livestock is inconsistent with the park’s mission to preserve the cultural and natural resources within the park and has caused damage to springs, riparian areas and archeological sites and objects.  

Anyone wishing to learn more about what happens to these horses after they are transferred to the National Mustang Association Colorado Chapter or to learn about future care and adoption opportunities can contact the NMACO at  

Last updated: September 28, 2022

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Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330



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