16 Wild Horses Found Dead In Northeastern Arizona, 10 By Gunshot

Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 10:54am
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 3:27pm

Several Arizona law enforcement agencies are now scouring the forestlands in northeastern Arizona for clues as to why someone would shoot and kill several wild horses in the region.

Until recently, forest rangers estimated just fewer than 300 wild horses roamed free through the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest.

“When we went and video-taped them, they were grazing peacefully on grass,” said Betty Nixon, a volunteer for the Heber Wild Horse Freedom Preservation Alliance. “Now they are running scared when they see a human.”

Since October, volunteers with her group and local law enforcement have found up to 16 horses dead, ten of them killed by gunshot, five of them too deteriorated to determine and one killed by blunt force trauma.

“There’s some evil cowards out there that are doing this,” Nixon said, “And, they need to be caught and they need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

All 16 horses were found within the Black Mesa Ranger District, prompting a multi-agency investigation by the Forest Service, Navajo and Coconino county sheriff’s departments.

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