Have you ever heard a helicopter circling overhead? Even at a distance, the steady thunder of the blades incites a primal fear. It's a sound well known in war zones. Stand within yards of the landing zone, and you are overcome by the brute force of the machine as blasts of wind and overpowering noise fill the air.
Now, imagine not knowing what a "helicopter" is. You live peacefully in the high desert – a prey animal with acute senses. Then all at once, inexplicably, a relentless creature in the sky stalks, chases and pursues you as you stumble through the landscape in terror.
That was the experience of a two-week-old foal during a recent government roundup of wild horses on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in western Colorado. For an hour, the helpless baby, separated from his mother, bolted in panic as the thunderous helicopter chased him toward the pens where the rest of his family group had been trapped. Eventually, wranglers on the ground roped the lame and exhausted baby foal. Once they determined that his leg had been broken after the long, exhaustive chase, they shot him in the head.