Seven wild horses have been found dead this month on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The killings are under investigation by the US Forest Service. KNAU’s Aaron Granillo reports the animals are part of the federally protected Heber Wild Horse Herd.
Officials with the Forest Service say they cannot reveal specifics about the investigation, but horse advocates have been on social media this month, posting photos of carcasses with bullet wounds. They say one of the animals was a pregnant mare gunned down this past weekend. Robin Crawford is a long-time advocate for the Heber horses, keeping track of their deaths.
“There’s no reason for it, and I don’t understand people like that. I just don’t understand,” says Crawford.
Crawford says she and other volunteers set up cameras around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. They’ve received dozens of tips, but Crawford says it’s unclear if there are any known suspects or what the motive is.
“I’ll just say I’m very confident that they’ll be caught, and we’re doing about all that can be done at this point,” says Crawford.
The Heber horses are federally protected from sale or slaughter. It’s the only wild horse herd in Arizona with a dedicated territory on national forest land.