OKEECHOBEE, Fla. (AP) -- Officials say they've rounded up most of the wild horses that had been roaming north of Lake Okeechobee.

About 20 horses had evaded authorities since September. The South Florida Water Management District considers the horses an "exotic species" that pose a threat to native habitat being restored north of the lake.

This month, the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office captured most of the horses. Deputies have been leaving feed for the horses for months. The animals finally became tame enough for a rancher to coax them into a penned field.

If they are healthy, the county will offer them for auction.

Three mares and a colt remain on the loose.

Authorities believe the horses' owners let them loose when feeding and housing them became too costly.


Information from: South Florida Sun Sentinel, http://www.sun sentinel.com

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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