RENO, Nev., April 19 (UPI) -- At least 86 wild horses died from stress and trauma after being rounded up by a government helicopter in Nevada, animal rights activists said.
The horses were among 1,922 wild horses removed by the federal Bureau of Land Management three months ago from a range in northern Nevada's Calico Mountains, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign said in a release Monday.
Another 40 mares suffered spontaneous abortion after the roundup, in which some horses were run for 10 miles to a government holding facility, preservation spokeswoman Suzanne Roy said, estimating the roundup cost $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars.
The 86 horses suffered broken necks and spinal injuries, with some foals trampled and elderly horses dying from exhaustion during the roundup, said Bruce Nock, an expert on animal stress at the Washington University School of Medicine.
"Everything about captivity is stressful to one degree or another to wild horses," Nock said.