Horses wreaking havoc at Mesa Verde National Park

Created: 05/01/2014 5:33 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

“People love to see wild animals,” Paul Morey, park biologist at Mesa Verde National Park laughs.

But these wild animals are causing trouble.

“They are causing impacts to both natural resources and cultural resources.”

When you think of wild animals in a national park, you may not think of horses, but there about five bands of horses impacting sites in Mesa Verde National Park.

“We did a count  last week and we estimate that there are about 75  inside the park,” said Morey.

These horses belong to no one and over the last 100 years have taken up residence inside Mesa Verde National Park's 81 square miles.

“We are also concerned about their impacts on some of the vegetation inside the park, impacts and competition with some of the native wildlife,’ he said.

Problems like trampling archeological sites and chasing deer and elk away from water sources has led the park service to explore options beyond fencing to keep the horses out.

“They aren’t part of the parks mission, the park has for 100 years been trying to remove livestock from the park so we would prefer that they are not inside the park.”

But don't worry, Morey says, if roundup is the solution, these aren’t headed for the glue factory.

“Not right now, no its not, if we do have to  capture them, adoption would be great.”

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