The shooting of 21 abandoned domestic horses on federal land in Wyoming is under investigation.
Rewards totaling $US7000 have been offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those involved in the deaths of the horses.
The horses, which had been abandoned on public land several years ago, were found dead in a remote area northwest of Thermopolis.
Special Agent Joe Nardinger, with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), confirmed that the horses were shot and that investigators were working with cooperating agencies to follow leads.
“The assistance we have received from the Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Office has been invaluable,” Nardinger said.
The BLM has offered a $US2000 reward in the case, and the Humane Society of the United States has offered another $US5000.
Nardinger said the BLM was also interested in any information people may have about the identity of the horses’ original owners, as abandoning livestock on public land was also a crime.
The bodies of the horses were found on the afternoon of July 29. Authorities believed they had been killed at some point during the last two weeks of July.
The horses were not federally protected wild horses but rather domestic horses that had been abandoned a few years ago, according to the BLM.
Before the horses were killed, staff in the BLM’s Worland Field Office had tried unsuccessfully to locate the owner who had abandoned the horses. The agency had since launched the process that would enable the eventual removal of the animals.
Anyone with information about is urged to contact Special Agent Joe Nardinger at 406-896-5150.