Horses found shot

Police and wildlife officers are investigating the shooting deaths on Tuesday of three wild horses near the Red Deer River Ranger Station, about 40 km southwest of Sundre.

A stallion lies tangled in trees

Police and wildlife officers are investigating the shooting deaths on Tuesday of three wild horses near the Red Deer River Ranger Station, about 40 km southwest of Sundre.

Bob and Doreen Henderson, founders of the Wild Horses of Alberta Society, went out for a look after getting a call from area residents who had found two horses dead and one dying at about 6 p.m.

One of the horses, a young stallion, was still alive when the discovery was made, Bob Henderson said on Wednesday. The man who found the horses went home to get a rifle to end the horse’s suffering but it had died by the time he got back.

Also killed were a yearling and a mature mare that had partially delivered a new foal.

When they went back on Wednesday morning, the Hendersons discovered another young horse whinnying and searching among the bodies.

“That didn’t help my heart,” said Bob Henderson, assuming that the surviving filly was split from the rest of the band and had not figured out why the dead horses were not getting up or where she should go. He believes the filly to be an offspring of the dead mare.

The horses had been part of a larger herd that must have fled when the carnage began, said Henderson, who is familiar with the various herds of horses that roam the area.

A former Calgary police officer, he said the Criminal Code includes charges that can be laid for the unlawful shooting of an animal.

However, he does not believe the Alberta government is interested, in general, in protecting the wild herds now roaming the foothills.

“Our government still sees them as feral and invasive, and I think that just feeds into this thing that they can get away with it if they shoot these things. To me, the government attitude toward the horses is one of contempt,” he said.

Cpl. Dave Heaslip from the RCMP’s livestock investigation unit said police and wildlife officers will look for bullets at the scene in hope of tracking down a suspect. Officers from the Sundre detachment are working with fish and wildlife officers, said Heaslip.

Investigators hope that any similar discoveries will be reported as soon as possible, which increases the possibility of finding suspects, he said.

Henderson said Tuesday’s grisly discovery put a damper on high spirits he and fellow volunteers had been feeling after the weekend.

A group of volunteers had been called to liberate 15 wild horses that had wandered into a leased area. The leaseholder had told the wild horse society that he wanted them removed and kept out or they would be rounded up.

The volunteers got all of the horses out of the lease during the April 25 weekend, and then fixed the fences and gates to make sure they wouldn’t get back in.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Walmart experiments with AI to monitor stores in real time

LEVITTOWN, N.Y. — Who’s minding the store? In the not-too-distant future it… Continue reading

Precision Drilling reports first-quarter profit, revenue up from year ago

CALGARY — Precision Drilling Corp. says it earned a profit in its… Continue reading

Federal government offers provinces 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

VANCOUVER — The federal government will split funding for bus service on… Continue reading

Manitoba files separate court action over federal carbon tax, seeks review

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has filed its own court challenge of… Continue reading

Bishop now the Stars goalie trying to beat Blues in playoffs

Ben Bishop grew up rooting for the St. Louis Blues before being… Continue reading

Nashville gets its chance to step up for NFL draft

NASHVILLE — Broadway in downtown Nashville is as lively a place as… Continue reading

The Cranberries, still in mourning, return for the last time

NEW YORK — Whether or not there would be a final Cranberries’… Continue reading

Dance studio owner in dispute with Burton Cummings fined for noise ticket

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The owner of a dance fitness studio who… Continue reading

Gardening: Time and effort key to buying garden plants

Greenhouses, garden centers and box stores are set to start selling bedding… Continue reading

Montreal native Nicholas Latifi off to solid start on Formula 2 race circuit

Practice makes perfect for Canadian Nicholas Latifi. The 23-year-old Montreal auto racer… Continue reading

Bruins victory over Leafs ensures an American team will hoist the Stanley Cup

TORONTO — Many NHL players were either not yet born or too… Continue reading

Swole, buzzy, among new words in Merriam-Webster dictionary

BOSTON — Get swole, prepare a bug-out bag, grab a go-cup and… Continue reading

Most Read