Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009 • BLM investigates wild horse shootings

Investigators from the U. S. Bureau of Land Management are looking into the suspected shooting deaths of up to six wild horses on public land along the Nevada-California border about 45 miles northeast of Susanville, California.

Lassen County’s wild horses. Photo by Norm Williams

The carcasses of six mustangs were discovered Saturday, Dec. 5 by a helicopter pilot working on a wild horse gather operation in the BLM’s Buckhorn Herd Management Area in Washoe County, Nev.

BLM staff members who went to the scene said five carcasses were found in one area, and another was found about a half-mile away.

Officials said several of the animals had evidence of gunshot wounds. They estimated the animals had been dead for about two weeks.

BLM special agents are continuing to investigate. They asked anyone with information to contact the BLM in Cedarville, California at (530) 279-6101.

A federal law, the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, protects wild horses and prohibits the harassing, capturing or killing of the animals.

Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, up to a year in prison, or both.