Discovery of three dead wild horses raises questions

The remains of at least three wild horses have been found on the road between Yunesit’in and Xeni Gwet’in First Nation communities.

The remains of at least three wild horses have been found near the 22-mile mark on the road between Yunesit’in and Xeni Gwet’in First Nation communities in the Chilcotin.

Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William told the Tribune Tuesday from what he has heard and seen he believes the horses were shot.

“One person from Xeni drove into the area and saw that one of the horses that was shot was dropped closer to the other horses,” William said. “They also found empty beer cans.”

Alexis Creek RCMP Const. Ryan Fillmore said his detachment has not received any reports from the public about the horses, but officers saw one of the dead horses a week ago and then heard there were two more and have returned to the site to investigate several times.

“We contacted Conservation Officer Darrell Ashworth out of Williams Lake yesterday and it is not possible to do a necropsy of the horses because of the amount of damage the ravens have done,” Fillmore said. “All we are left with is a hide and no internal organs to determine if they were damaged by a bullet.”

In their investigation, the RCMP counted three dead horses, and have not come across anything suspicious, he said, noting until a member of the public comes forward the RCMP cannot pursue an investigation.

“Nobody has come forward with information, other than to stop and ask us if we know about the dead horses,” he said. “If someone has information they would be generous to share with us, that would be great.”

Recent counts from a helicopter have indicated that anywhere between 100 and 200 wild horses live in the area where the horses were found deceased, William said, noting another 80 to 100 are in the Brittany Triangle area.

“We want people to know this is happening,” he said. “Whoever is doing this and thinks it’s a fun thing to do, needs to know it is a serious issue.”

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