‘There is no way. You have got to be kidding me.’
Shane Adams, a Utah native, experienced many significant life changes during the eight years that his beloved horse, Mongo, was missing after fleeing. Adams was involved in a life-threatening car accident, which resulted in a serious brain injury, a divorce, and the loss of his home. Then, in September, he received the incredible news that his horse, Mongo, had been discovered. “I thought, ‘There is no way. You have got to be kidding me,’” Adams told New York Post, adding, “It didn’t even seem real … To have him back is still not real.”
Adams, 40, had spent his entire life riding and training horses, but he had never formed a bond with another horse as strong as he did with Mongo.
A routine camping trip in the West Desert, two hours outside Salt Lake City, began to go south on March 31, 2014. Adams heard horses stirring outside his tent in the early morning hours and peered out amid the commotion. Mongo, his quarter and half-Percheron-bred horse, was escaping and pursuing a herd of ferocious Mustangs nearby. Adams rushed to get ready to pursue Mongo, but he became stranded in a snowstorm.”I thought he’d just come right back. That was his mentality — he never went far. I didn’t think he would ever be gone,” said Adams.
Adams’ search for his horse lasted three years and didn’t end. He made every effort to raise awareness about Mongo’s disappearance, and he contacted the local brand inspector as well as the Bureau of Land Management in Utah (BLM Utah). Every weekend, he went in search of Mongo, accompanied by his father, Scott Adams. However, his father died in August. He expressed his desire for his father to be present during this special time with him.
He eventually returned to his previous position as a supervisor for a large construction firm. Because of his position, he had to be more active and present at work. Adams had given up and assumed Mongo had died by 2017. The fate of the horse was also unknown to the BLM Utah team. “Since we didn’t capture [Mongo] in 2017, we did not know what had happened. We thought maybe he was gone,” said Lisa Reid, public affairs specialist at BLM Utah.
On September 27 of this year, Adams received a Facebook message request from a BLM Utah employee. The BLM horse specialist immediately noticed that Mongo was different from the other horses. Mongo, unlike the majority of the horses, did not try to flee or fight. According to Adams, he settled down quickly, indicating that he was a domesticated horse.
Even though Mongo had lost nearly 400 pounds and was no longer as thick as he was before he went missing, Adams recognized him. Adams expected Mongo to be nervous after spending years running with wild mustangs. Mongo, on the other hand, remembered the lessons Adams had taught him.
“It was exciting to be eight years later and a horse that we knew was missing [had] actually come in and [could be] reunited with his owner.” Adams shared, “My dad would be all sorts of excited. He would be tickled pink.” Adams said that reuniting with Mongo was a dream come true and a much-needed victory — “this was really good, the only positive thing to happen to me in two years,” he said.