U.S. Forest Service asks public for info on killings of wild horses in eastern Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - U.S. Forest Service officials have appealed to the public for help in identifying those responsible for the recent shooting deaths of three more federally protected wild horses in eastern Arizona.
A $10,000 reward has been offered for the arrest and conviction of those responsible, the Black Mesa Ranger District of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, officials said in a statement Tuesday.
The three horse killings raise the total of such deaths in the Heber area since October 2018 to over 30, azfamily.com reported.
“I think there’s a pattern here now that’s well established. These shootings always happen in the winter months, starting from October at the earliest and they go through April at the latest,” said wild horse advocate and photographer, Kathie Reidhead.
“It’s always happening at this time of the year when the forest is pretty empty, especially with the cold weather and snow on the ground. There’s not a lot of visitors in the forest. I think it’s someone local who knows those Forest Service roads very very well.”
No arrests have been made.
“It takes evidence to convict somebody and when they’re investigated, they get all the evidence that they can. If they can tie it to somebody, they will. If they can’t, then it’ll just be ongoing,” said District Ranger Richard Madril. “We do have some names and stuff but again it’s the amount of evidence that would point to them and see if that comes.”
The Forest Service statement released Tuesday said the agency “takes this matter seriously” and asked that anybody with information to contact the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.
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