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Published July 29, 2013, 10:17 AM

Birth control booster planned for Theodore Roosevelt National Park horses

MEDORA, N.D. (AP) — A birth control experiment for wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park is about to get a boost.

MEDORA, N.D. (AP) — A birth control experiment for wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park is about to get a boost.

Researchers have been testing a contraceptive vaccine on some mares since 2009, but the success rate has been only about 50 percent.

Colorado State University research biologist Dan Baker is leading the study. He tells The Forum that for some reason, free-roaming mammals are less responsive to the vaccine than captive animals.

During a roundup of surplus park horses in September, researchers will give treated mares a booster shot. Baker says a second dose of a vaccine typically delivers more powerful and long-lasting effects.

If the results of the second injections are promising, the park will seek public comment on the use of the contraceptive vaccine as an alternative to roundups.

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