As published by Ruidoso News
An Alto, N.M., wild horse was fatally shot, possibly on Tuesday, and left to die on an isolated gravel road in the Lincoln National Forest.
The news has upset wild horse advocates and reignited debate about who is responsible for wild horses in New Mexico, especially if one is intentionally killed. Patience O’Dowd, president of the Wild Horse Observers Association, said a wild horse supporter was notified of a horse that had been shot and its location.
“Upon investigation, she determined the young wild stallion had been brutally shot by the side of a gravel/dirt road and, bleeding profusely, had run about 100 feet before falling down and dying,” O’Dowd said.
Lincoln County Sheriff Robert Shepperd said his office received a call about the horse’s death, but because the act apparently occurred on the Lincoln National Forest, the case was turned over to the U.S. Forest Service.
If the shooting involved a game animal such as an elk, the state Game and Fish Department would be notified and handle the incident, said Smokey Bear District Ranger Jodie Canfield.
“I think it is a really unique situation in that those feral horses don’t really have anybody with jurisdiction over them,” she said. “They used to have the livestock board that would have handled it. Even though it is public land, we don’t have any jurisdiction over those animals. I know it was turned over to our law enforcement.