Three More Wild Horses Found Shot

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Three more wild horses were found shot to death in eastern Nevada, the latest in a two-year string of killings.

The bodies of a stud, a mare and 6-month-old filly were found Monday by a White Pine County road worker off a dirt road about 45 minutes west of Ely, said Chris Hanefeld, spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management.

"These horses were 25 yards south of this road,"Hanefeld said Thursday."Apparently they had been standing beneath a juniper tree to get shade when they were shot."

Investigators say they had been dead about a week before they were found.

"What makes this so horrendous, this person or persons ... were illegally shooting wild horses for the fun of it,"Hanefeld said.

"It was cruel, inhumane and quite frankly, it's disgusting."

Authorities have no suspects.

Bill Wagers, BLM law enforcement district ranger, said an investigation was ongoing, but conceded such cases are hard to solve.

"It's hard for people to understand there's a lot of public land in Nevada; vast expanses,"he said."It's very hard for anybody to witness this."

Wild horses and burros are protected by federal law, and killing one carries a possible penalty of a year in jail, a $2,000 fine or both.

The discovery comes less than a week after a BLM employee found the body of another wild horse that was shot about 20 miles south.

Wagers said it's unknown if the shootings are related to each other or to the 19 horse killings in southeastern Nevada and southwestern Utah since the spring of 2001.

In April, a mare was shot and left for dead along a county road six miles southeast of Panaca in Lincoln County. Jared Redington, a BLM wild horse specialist in Caliente, said the animal was paralyzed by the bullet and suffered for days before it died.

Four wild horses were found shot to death in December near Panaca Summit about 20 miles east of Panaca.

Ten others were found in two separate incidents in March and April of 2001 in the same region. About the same time, four others were found shot in Iron County, Utah, near the Nevada-Utah line.

Wagers appealed to the public for information.

"We have gotten tips but they are infrequent,"he said."A lot of these communities out here are small and everybody knows everybody. People are reluctant to come forward."

Still, he said, many people are appalled by the killings.