Public are asked to be respectful  and cautious around new backcountry foals

Olds, AB, March 29, 2024 — Spring signals a rebirth of both flora and fauna in Alberta, including the arrival of new wild horse foals in the backcountry. A local wild horse advocacy and watchdog organization, the Help Alberta Wildies Society (HAWS) asks the public to be aware and cautious when out in the backcountry during the next several months. 

“Wild horses throughout the province start foaling in April and it’s not uncommon for outdoor and recreational users on Crown land to see them while out enjoying a day in the backcountry,” says Darrell R. Glover, HAWS President. 

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Photo courtesy of HAWS

“Newborn and young foals are particularly vulnerable during this time as they can easily become separated from their mothers and their natal bands if disturbed, making them prime targets for starvation or predation.”

According to Glover, many times when a wild horse band or mare is spotted, a young foal may be resting and lying in the bushes nearby. Getting too close or traveling too fast through the area may cause the band to flee, leaving any young foals behind.

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Photo courtesy of HAWS

“Alberta’s wild horses are a precious natural resource and attract scores of visitors and photographers from around the world who want to see them roaming wild and free in the backcountry, especially in the spring when foals begin to arrive,” says Glover. “We just ask that when doing so, people are respectful and cautious. Give the horses some space; don’t scare them or give them a reason to flee.” 

Glover says the wild horse foaling season is critical to the sustainability of the species — a species that is unique to Alberta according to DNA analysis and unlike any other horses in the world. “Predation in the backcountry, especially in the Sundre Equine Management Zone (EMZ), is particularly high. We estimate only 10 percent of the foals born annually survive, so it’s critical as many foals as possible make it to adulthood.” 

If an injured or abandoned wild foal is spotted, Glover asks the public to get in touch with HAWS ASAP by calling (403) 350-8688, (403) 877-3893 or email:

The feral horse counts within designated areas of Alberta provide a baseline of the minimum number of horses seen in preferred habitats. Shown are minimum counts for 2023. Summaries for previous years are found HERE

Main Photo courtesy of HAWS.