‘There is no way. You have got to be kidding me.’
Shane Adams, a native of Utah, underwent a lot of significant life changes during the eight years that his beloved horse, Mongo, was missing, after running away. Adams experienced a life-threatening car accident that resulted in a significant brain injury, a divorce and the loss of his home. Then, in September, he, at last, learned the astounding 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 connection as powerful as he did with Mongo with another horse.
On March 31, 2014, a routine camping excursion in the West Desert, two hours outside Salt Lake City, started to go south. In the early morning hours, Adams heard horses stirring outside his tent and peered out amid the ruckus. He observed Mongo, his quarter and half-Percheron-bred horse, escaping and pursuing a herd of savage Mustangs nearby. Adams hurried to prepare so he could 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' quest for his horse lasted three years and never ended. He made every effort to spread the word about Mongo's disappearance and he got in touch with the local brand inspector and the Bureau of Land Management in Utah (BLM Utah). He went in search of Mongo every weekend, escorted by his father Scott Adams. But his father passed away in August. He said that he wished his father was around to partake in this special time with him.
As time passed, he returned to his previous position as a supervisor for a sizable construction firm. He had to be more active and present at work because of his position. Adams had given up and believed Mongo had passed away by 2017. The fate of the horse was a mystery to the BLM Utah team as well. "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.
Adams then got a Facebook message request from a BLM Utah employee on September 27 of this year. The horse specialist for BLM noticed right away that Mongo was different from the other horses. Unlike the majority of the horses, Mongo did not attempt to flee or fight. According to Adams, he settled down quickly, a sure sign of a domesticated horse.
Adams recognized this was his furry friend even though Mongo had lost almost 400 pounds and was no longer as thick as he was before he went missing. After spending years running with wild mustangs, Adams thought Mongo would be in a nervous state. However, Mongo retained the lessons Adams had imparted to him.
Reid said, “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.