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The wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens has offered to "adopt" more than 30,000 captive wild horses and burros. The animals were mostly likely to be killed or sold for slaughter. Madeleine Pickens' (above, with T. Boone) offer ended a proposal to euthanize or sell more than 10,000 animals. Pickens made her proposal at a meeting Monday of federal officials and a wild horse advisory committee.
The Washington Post described it as a "dramatic rescue" by the couple, who are "lifelong animal lovers." Madeleine Pickens is now searching for land where the horses can be pastured. Some 33,000 horses still roam federal lands in 10 Western states; most are in Nevada. The land can only sustain 27,000 horses, so each year up to 13,000 horses are rounded up and put in holding pens. There are now 30,000 horse in these pens and these are the animals the Pickens will adopt.
Adoption of wild horses has declined while the cost of feed has almost doubled. A Government Accountability Office report called the situation a "crisis" last week.