The Nevada Department of Agriculture wants to know who cut a fence to release eight feral horses captured along a busy highway south of Reno.
Officials say the animals had been running loose along U.S. 395 near Washoe Hill and were rounded up for public safety reasons. They were taken to property in Washoe Valley where they were fenced.
Sometime late Thursday or early Friday someone cut the fence and a chain on the gate, releasing the horses near the road.
Under an agreement with wild horse advocates, the department says it only rounds up Virginia Range horses when public safety is an issue.
An investigation is underway and those responsible could face charges.
In November 2012, three horses died after causing a two-car collision on the same road.