Even if they appear tame, it is not safe to approach wild horses and burros in Nevada — and it is illegal to feed them.
That's the reminder the Bureau of Land Management issued this week after rangers photographed wild horses in Nye County that appeared to be habituated — meaning they had likely been fed by humans.
The BLM says the wild horses "quickly approached cars as they drove in" to Discovery Park in Pahrump, which is not normal behavior and indicates the animals may expect to receive food from humans.
"Feeding wild horses and burros causes them to become habituated," BLM officials said, so "they will expect that people have food and will become less cautious around humans, but they will still not be tame and pose a serious threat of injury."
Not only is feeding these animals illegal, but the rich food they might receive isn't what they're used to, and can cause serious digestive issues.
The animals are still wild, and it's important to give them their space — especially during foaling season, officials said. They can cause serious injury or death to humans who get too close.
"Please enjoy viewing wild horses and burros from a significant distance," officials said.
If you see any issues with wild horses and human interaction, you're advised to keep your distance and contact law enforcement.