Horse Stories: Jimminy ~ Orphan of an Aerial Cull

This is the story of a foal named Jimminy. He was the only horse remaining after a 2008 cull of 662 horses at Frazier Downs south of Broome in Western Australia. If you’ve guessed that this is a sad story, you would be correct, as in addition to the cull, unfortunately, in the end Jimminy did not survive either.

You may wonder why we’re posting a story from several years ago. Quite simply we hope that by sharing his story more caring people may become aware of this important horse welfare issue, including the present situation with ongoing welfare challenges, from an Oct/Nov 2013 cull at Lake Gregory in the Kimberley.

Libby Lovegrove from Wild Horses Kimberley takes up the story:

“This is Jimminy. The people of Bidyadanga /Frazier Downs, rang me after the cull and asked if I could save this little boy.”

Jimminy. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley

Jimminy. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley

“He was the last horse left standing after the horrific cull of 662 horses by the Dept. of Agriculture WA in 2008.”

Jimminy sleeps in the sun, day 3. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley

Jimminy sleeps in the sun, day 3. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley

“I brought him home in the back of our Troop Carrier, he slept on my lap, and I cared for him day and night for 12 days.”

Jimminy feeding day 12(4)

Jimminy Feeding Day 12. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley

“This photo is of Brumby, a palomino wild horse trapped from Doongan station in the Kimberley, who was really keen to make friends with Jimminy. Jimminy not so keen!”

Jimminy and Brumby. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley.

Jimminy and Brumby. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley.

“Jimminy had missed out on his mother’s colostrum which would have saved him from infection. He died suddenly on the 12th day.”

Jimminy. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley

Jimminy. Photo: Wild Horses Kimberley

Rest in Peace Jimminy. Your story, sadly, was all too short.

The story of aerial culling in Australia, however, continues unabated. Regarding the Frazier Downs Cull, Libby Lovegrove provided the following description.

**Warning: The following description of the cull may be distressing to some**

“We have several photos of this cull which was carried out by Dept. of Agriculture with no follow up. Horses aborted foals as they died, scrabbled in the dust, foals broke legs. these horses were used to walking into yards to drink from troughs and could easily be caught and saved humanely.”

(If you wish to view some of these images, you can do so on  “Pindan Post” **Graphic images of aerial cull at Frazier Downs at bottom of page at this link**)

** End of graphic content **

Wild Horses Kimberley are again trying to help horses after an aerial cull in a remote area. On this occasion there has been a cull of thousands of horses at Lake Gregory in Western Australia’s Kimberley. You can read more about it here.

One of the major concerns with aerial culls is that of prolonged suffering. Veterinary supervision of the most recent cull was reported on by 7 News:

Vet admits some horses still alive after being shot

In a statement, the Aboriginal Lands Trust and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs say they are confident the operation was conducted as professionally and humanely as possible.

Dr Hampton, who examined 452 of the 7,000 dead horses, admitted some were still alive after being shot.

“That’s part of the assessment and also the potential for the animal to show signs of having had a protracted death,” he said.

“We found animals alive associated with approximately one per cent of all the animals that were targeted.””

Quote from 7 News report on Yahoo! 7. Read full report at this link **graphic image warning**.

A lot of people are obviously very concerned about this, as if this 1% remaining alive holds true for all of the 7,000+ horses reported to have been shot, does that mean a minimum of approximately 70 horses did not die immediately? If there were more than 6,500 horses that a vet did not check, despite there being horses left alive after being wounded in the sample that was checked, then how is it possible for anyone to use the term “humane” in association with this cull?

Surviving Horses:

One of their biggest concerns expressed by Wild Horses Kimberley for the estimated 3,000 surviving horses  and other animals is that of safe drinking water, as they report that the bodies of dead horses are polluting the lake. Find out more in the Wild Horses Kimberley Facebook group at the link below, about efforts to provide troughs of bore water.

We hope that by drawing attention to Jimminy’s story, it may help to raise awareness of the greater movement toward sustainable and humane management of wild horses in Australia.

Connect with others who are passionate about this issue:
– “Wild Horses Kimberley” Facebook Group *Graphic content warning for photographs of aerial cull posted in group* for the latest on the situation at Lake Gregory.
– “Aerial culling Australian wild horses” Facebook group *Graphic content warning for photographs of aerial cull posted in group*
Visit our “Brumbies” resource page, which has links to brumby organisations around Australia. Many of the brumby organisations report on the management of brumbies in their area, and also rehome brumbies as part of efforts toward sustainable management.

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