LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - If you have ever experienced the call of the wild, you might want to answer it by adopting a living legend.
America's iconic horse, the mustang, are up for adoption at the Wild Horse and Burro auction at the Douglas County fairgrounds.
Linda Laird, who has been adopting wild horses and burros since 2006, says nothing quite compares with training a wild horse.
"There is a phenomenal relationship between the wild ones and humans," she said. "There's a bonding that you have with this horse, that's not like any other horse. When they give to you, they give all their heart. They'll do anything with you and they trust you."
The beauties and burros at the adoption fair until recently roamed free on public lands in the western United States.
"It's our responsibility to manage these herds, make sure they don't overrun [and] overpopulate the range," Paul McGuire, Public Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said.
When that happens, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management seeks adoptersthat share the same passion and pioneering spirit as America's early settlers.
"Horses were originally re-introduced back into America about 500 years ago," he said. "From that time forward, many different species of horses were brought forward westwards with the settlers and evolved into this unique breed that we know as the American mustang."
McGuire says giving these animals into private care helps herds and their environments stay healthy.
"The adoption program is an important component of our overall management responsibility," he said.
Adopters and owners say training a wild horse or burro requires patience and adaptability.
"You have to be willing to learn yourself how to be a horse," Laird said.
The rewards, just like the animals, are extraordinary, she said.
"It's really phenomenal when they give you a hug," she said.
The wild horses and burros adoption continues at the Douglas County fairgrounds through Saturday, August 25.
For more information, visit www.blm.gov.