Southeast Connector may pose threat to wild horses

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) The long-awaited SouthEast Connector opens July 6, but wild horse advocates say it poses a threat without proper fencing to keep horses from the road.

"There's no nothing, no fence keeping these horses from getting up onto the road, and if these cars are going 55, especially at night, they're going to get hit, they're going to get killed and have fatalities as well," Mark Dove, a wild horse advocate, says.

Dove says the three-foot barbed-wire fence is not enough to keep horses from the road. He says the Regional Transportation Commission promised a fence to help mitigate the problem.

"You can see that clear as day there's nothing stopping those horses, nothing," Dove says.

Final preps made as SouthEast Connector opening nears

RTC says it has plans to install a fence to be completed in about a month, but notes that during construction they did not have issues with the horses.

"During construction there wasn't an issue with horses coming onto the construction site; therefore it was determined that no further fencing was required to keep horses off the roadway," Michael Moreno of RTC says.

Dove's biggest fear is that the horses could be removed permanently if nothing is done to prevent them from entering the roadway.

"Every time a horse gets hit or someone gets hurt by one of these horses, it's just another excuse for Reno to get rid of these horses, and that's going to be one of the biggest mistakes that Reno has ever made," Dove says.