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On March 1, 2017, I witnessed some of the most selfish behavior I have seen in years.
While transporting a group of people to the Sweetwater County airport at approximately 4:30 pm, I was delayed by sheepherders moving what looked to be about 300 head of sheep along the airport road to the Middle Baxter Road cutoff.
A good number of the sheep were limping, likely because the ice was cutting their hooves.
As we waited patiently for the sheep, horses, dogs, sheepherders and their vehicles to make their way up the road and over the bridge we saw a semi coming down the road from the direction of the airport.
Rather than stop and wait for the herd to make it across the bridge, this semi driver bulled his way through the herd. Part of the herd was already on the bridge itself and part were not.
His selfish behavior caused the herd to split, with many sheep forced to move to the outside of the bridge rails. These sheep continued to try to move along the ever-decreasing shoulder and we watched in horror as they kept moving towards what would’ve been a very long and surely fatal drop.
One of the sheepherders had to vault the bridge rail to halt their progress which caused them to turn down the embankment towards the railroad tracks.
The sheepherder then had to run full speed down the embankment in knee deep snow to keep the sheep from trying to move onto the railroad tracks.
After the semi driver was through the herd, three other vehicles going towards the airport went around me and they too bulled their way through the herd.
As these vehicles were trying to go through the herd, one sheepherder was leading three horses that were all having a very hard time on the extremely slick road.
These vehicles gave no berth to the horses and apparently gave no thought to the fact that if even one of those horses were to be spooked by having a vehicle just inches away, all three would have fallen.
The semi was from a local oilfield water service company, and two of the other vehicles were also local company vehicles.
One was a vehicle with California license plates.
While someone from California may not realize how inappropriate their behavior was, those locals should be ashamed of themselves.
These animals were already stressed and the actions of these drivers increased that stress ten-fold.
Such behavior is childishly selfish and is nothing more than cruel and unnecessary harassment of livestock and their handlers.
I reported the incident to the Rock Springs Grazing Association and my fervent hope is that these drivers will have to answer for their appalling behavior.
Green River, Wyoming