Escaped Mustang Captured After Swimming Across Bay in Wisconsin

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Local authorities in Wisconsin report that they’ve captured a wild mustang that was seen running on several roads and swimming across Green Bay.

The Door County Sheriff’s Office said the owner of the horse said the animal was a wild mustang. They warned members of the public should not attempt to capture it.

“Great News, The Mustang has been safely secured,” the office posted on their Facebook page. “We would like to send thanks to Jesus “Chewy” Jauregui, who assisted in corralling the Mustang.

The mustang was seen running loose just after 2 p.m. Sunday. He was spotted around the area of Bay Shore Drive in the Township of Sevastopol. The horse then swam across Green Bay to Potawatomi State Park.

Later, the wild mustang was spotted running near other roads in town before being corralled early Monday morning.

The office shouted out a local citizen who helped bring in the mustang in its Facebook post.

Potawatomi State Park lies northwest of the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in the Town of Nasewaupee. It’s located in Door County along Sturgeon Bay, a bay residing within Green Bay. Potawatomi State Park was established in 1928.

The park contains many hiking trails and also sits at the eastern terminus of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Park trails can be used for hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

The park also contains two miles of water frontage on Green Bay, providing plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing.

Sevastopol is a town in Door County, Wisconsin, with a population of just over 2,500.

Mustang Distribution Across the United States

Over half of all free-roaming mustangs on the North American continent are found in Nevada. Other places with large horse populations include California, Utah, Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming.

Mustangs are often referred to as wild horses. However, since they are descended from once-domesticated animals, they are actually feral horses.

The original mustangs were Colonial Spanish horses. Yet, over time, other breeds and types of horses then developed into the modern mustang. However, some free-roaming horses exist relatively unchanged from the original Spanish stock. The most isolated populations tend to contain these Spanish traits.

In 1971, the United States Congress passed the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The act declared that “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” It also said that these horses “continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.”

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages and protects America’s free-roaming horse population.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service manage some of these mustangs. However, for the most part, they operate separately from the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

However, controversy surrounds mustangs sharing resources with the livestock of the ranching industry. Moreover, some people take issue with BLM’s management methods. One common method of population management used involves rounding up excess population. Then, they offer them up for adoption to private individuals.