These animals are no longer free to roam. Once living on public lands in the west, the wild horses and burros have been removed for adoption.
"The adoption program is critical to ensure those populations are stable, herds are healthy, and the land is protected," Paul McGuire with the United States Bureau of Land Management said.
In 1971 the United States Bureau of Land Management was given the authority to manage, protect, and control wild horses and burros.
"The law that established this program was designed to protect and preserve wild mustangs as symbols of our western land heritage and that's what it's all about," McGuire said.
Through the organization over 200-thousand horses have been adopted and Friday, they'll go up for auction.
A 125 dollar minimum adoption fee is required, but through a competitive bid adoption the price could go higher. Walk-up adoptions will follow.
"We have folks who come back all the time and bring their animals to show them off," McGuire said. "We bring them to the adoptions and bring pictures and tell success stories it's like a large mustang family."
After the adoption goes through, the government will officially own the animal for a year. After a thorough inspection, the adopter becomes the official owner of a piece of living history.
Adoption continues Friday at 8 a.m. at the Grimes County Fairgrounds. The auction will start at 10 a.m. Friday morning and walk up adoption will continue through noon on Saturday.
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