“It didn’t even look real.”

Utah resident Shane Adams lost his beloved horse, Mongo, eight years ago and had long since given up hope of the animal’s return. In the intervening years, Adams has suffered more than his share of misfortune — he’s been divorced, lost his home, and been in a car accident that left him with a severe brain injury. But in September, his luck turned dramatically: he was notified that Mongo had been found.

When he got the message, he thought, “There’s no way. You’ve got to be kidding me,” Adams, 40, Fox News Digital said. “It didn’t feel real… taking it back still didn’t feel real.” Adams told the news outlet that the two developed a unique bond. He said, “It’s very special and has always been a part of my life.” Read on to find out how Mongo got lost and what led to the unexpected and long overdue reunion.

1

How Mongo went missing

In March 2014, Adams was on a camping trip in the desert two hours from Salt Lake City. Early in the morning, he heard the rustling of horses outside his tent and went to investigate. He then saw Mongo break free and run after a pack of wild mustangs in the area. Adams tried to chase Mongo down but was caught in a snowstorm. “I thought he was just coming back,” Adams told Fox News. “That was his mentality – he never went away. I didn’t think it would ever go away.”

2

The search went on for years

He said Adams searched for Mongo for three years. Every weekend, he went out searching, accompanied by his father, Scott, who passed away last August. “I really wish my dad was here to enjoy this,” Adams said. “My dad would come out and look at me every time.” Adams reported to the BLM Utah Bureau of Land Management and a local trademark inspector that Mongo was missing. “I reported him missing and tried everyone I could to find him,” he said said the Washington Post. “But I never saw Mongo again.”

3

Fateful Facebook message

By 2017, Adams had given up on his research. “Since we are not captured [Mongo] In 2017, we didn’t know what happened. “We thought he might be gone,” said Lisa Reid, a public affairs specialist at BLM Utah. The Bureau of Land Management estimates that about 71,000 Mustangs roam freely in the West. But on September 27 of this year, Adams received a message on Facebook from a BLM Utah employee. They said Mongo was found.

4

Where is Mongo found?

Mongo was found with a pack of horses at the Dugway Proving Ground, a high-security site in Utah. The agency’s equine specialist thought Mongo stood out in the group—he was larger than the other horses and did not attempt to flee, a sign that he was domesticated. BLM Utah has contacted a local trademark inspector. He spotted the Mongo brand on his left shoulder, which was covered in winter fur. This led them to contact Adams.

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5

Four hour drive and a smooth reunion

The next day, Adams said he drove four hours to pick up Mongo. The horse was much skinnier—he had dropped nearly 400 pounds during his time in the wild—but the pair recognized each other immediately. Mongo walked straight to the trailer that Adams hitched to his truck. “He was his calm, gentle, natural personality – as if he had never left,” said Adams. Mail. “But I was so thrilled. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream come true.”

He is now trying to make sure Mongo regains the weight he lost. “There’s not a lot of food out there with this drought, and the horses look like they’re walking death because they’re so skinny,” he said. Mail. “I understand why Mongo ran away – horses are tribal animals and will follow each other. But I’m glad we can take care of him now and make sure he eats enough.”

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