June 4, 2010 – Foals & A Cub

I’ve found 24 foals on the range so far, and there are still some pregnant mares out there. I thought it would be worth talking a little about a couple of the 2010 foals. Baja’s mare Washakie had a filly foal during the second week of May.

What’s interesting about this foal is the timing of its birth. Often, we see mares that foal in consecutive years have their foals pretty close to a year apart. However, last year Washakie foaled in the middle of June; she had this year’s foal about a month earlier than last year’s. This was able to happen because her foal last year only lived about a week. When foals die early like this, the mares can quickly get pregnant again. This is just what had to have happened for this foal to be born when it did.

Based on her appearance, we had predicted that Teton’s mare War Bonnet would be one of the first mares to foal this year. Toward the end of April, eight foals had been born; but War Bonnet still didn’t have a foal.  It was hard not to feel badly for her as she just never seemed too comfortable.

Earlier this week, she finally did have her foal. It is a pretty little filly that looks like she could further carry on War Bonnet’s color tradition.

The wild horses aren’t the only ones with new babies out there. As we came down a valley this week, we saw a bear and her cub get startled and run out of there.

However, the cub’s mother went too fast; and the cub got separated from her.

The cub cried out, and its mother came back for it.

Soon after the two were reunited, they took off again out of sight.

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Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. very cool ! I love baby animals, there’s nothing sweeter in the world!

  2. I am very happy for Washakie. We saw her standing vigil over her dead foal last summer and her grief was so hard to see. I hope I get a chance to see them in a couple of weeks.

  3. Matt,
    I can honestly say this is the first time I have heard about bears in the mountains. I have worried about other predators,but never bears.I guess when you take the time to think about the young of all the predators on the mountain you might think twice, but I guess my thoughts have always been on the prey.That being, our horses.

  4. Washakies baby is sooo cool looking! The bears were also really neat to see. Oh Spring! Isn’t it Awesome?!

  5. Matt! What an awesome series of photos on the sow and her cub! They really tell a story. There are a lot of black bears in that country! (but I worry more about the cougars sneaking up on me than the bears!! lol)

  6. I live in both bear and cougar country. My donkeys and mule hardly react to the bears, showing only a passing interest and curiosity.
    But I always know if a cougar is around; the mule repeatedly blows and the herd grows anxious. I have had three cougar attacks, none of them fatal, but still inflicting bite wounds, and claw marks.
    Around here, the cougar is definitely a predator. While most of the time they stick to taking down deer, they occasionally become opportunists and discover that catching livestock that are penned is much easier.
    If too many livestock deaths occur, the local Fish and Wildlife officers will often remove the cougar to another location. If it appears unhealthy, they may kill it.
    Removing cougars, however, doesn’t really solve a problem, since a vacuum is created, and another one quickly moves into the territory.
    I watched a cougar take down a doe right next to my corral area, so attacks on domesticated livestock tend not to be huge.
    However, the Pryor horses are out there, and probably are as attractive to a cougar as a moose in the forest. Such are the workings of the natural world. Prey and predators.
    Great photos Matt. Love War Bonnet and her foal. Beautiful colour!
    Thanks for sharing.
    wendy

  7. Washakie’s foal certainly is healthy looking and well-muscled! It will be interesting to watch her grow and develop. I hope she is spared any unfortunate accidents, etc., and can just experience a wonderful life of relative freedom out there on the Range. I’d like to know what her name will be.

    I loved the bear episode! Isn’t that just like a mother—make sure the baby is OK, no matter what else your instincts tell you to do.

    We have lots of bear here in Wis., but very seldom hear of aggressive behavior. If they are aggressive, it’s usually because someone gets between a mother and cub, or a cub is threatened. They are known to be more scavengers and vegetarians than predators.We have more to fear from wolves hunting in packs than from a bear.

    War Bonnet looks much more comfortable now! I’m sure it’ll be much easier having that pretty little foal jumping and kicking around “outside” her belly. Now if she can just keep her fed and out of trouble…
    The filly sure is a precious little thing. Another “huggable” critter.


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