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Mesa Verde pressed to provide water to wild horses

By: Associated Press
July 31, 2014 Updated: July 31, 2014 at 9:18 am
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photo - National Park Service employees Neil Perry and Jesse Farias discuss issues concerning feral horses with protester Denise Miller on Tuesday. Six wild horses died at Mesa Verde during the recent dry spell. The park policy is to not feed or water wildlife. (Sam Green, Cortez Journal)
National Park Service employees Neil Perry and Jesse Farias discuss issues concerning feral horses with protester Denise Miller on Tuesday. Six wild horses died at Mesa Verde during the recent dry spell. The park policy is to not feed or water wildlife. (Sam Green, Cortez Journal) 

CORTEZ — Wild horse advocates want Mesa Verde National Park to start giving water to its herds following the deaths of six horses.

Dehydration likely played a role in the deaths of four horses found July 8. Two others were found in early June but officials tell the Cortez Journal (http://bit.ly/1rT4vfw ) more water was available then.

Park wildlife biologist Neal Perry says the watering ban is standard on all federal public lands. Officials are instead looking at rounding up some of the park's 100 wild horses and either selling them or treating them with birth control.

The horse deaths triggered an organized protest Tuesday in front of the park's Visitor and Research Center.

Perry says there's limited water in the high desert environment and horses are competing for it with native deer and elk. Unlike the native animals, Perry says the horses won't move on in search of water.

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Information from: Cortez Journal, http://www.cortezjournal.com/

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