Wild Horse Adoption Program Benefits from Movie Release - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wild Horse Adoption Program Benefits from Movie Release

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YAKIMA, Wash -- Horses play an important role in the history and culture of the Yakima nation. They have carried their women, children and warriors.

"There is a big cultural significance of the horses," said Arlen Washines, Wildlife Manager for the tribe.  

He overseas the 5,000 wild mustang that live on the tribe's land.

But there are too many horses on the land, and they are damaging the environment. The horses eat the berries and roots used in traditional medicines. And fish and birds are disappearing because of the damage done by them.

A year ago the tribe, in an effort to reduce the number of horses, began an adoption program. For $100, anyone can adopt a horse. Initially the program was unsuccessful, but thanks to a new movie the program is getting national attention.

"Flicka" is a movie about a girl and a wild horse. The producers are promoting the movie and the adoption program together.

Washines hopes that 100 to 500 horses will be adopted each year. He is considering doing now what he didn't do last year.  

"I am looking forward to getting one of the horses of my own," said Washines.