The public is being urged to help police with information as Mounties continue to investigate the shooting deaths of 17 wild horses west of Kamloops.
The dead horses were found recently on Crown land north of Wallachin, about 65 kilometres west of Kamloops.
Cpl. James Grandy of the BC RCMP’s Southeast District told KTW the dead horses were found various distances apart in two groups, one with six animals and the other with 11.
“The animals had likely been killed within two weeks prior,” Grandy said. “There are no suspects and the motive is unknown. Charges may include mischief under the Criminal Code and wildlife offences, as well.”
The Skeetchestn Indian Band released a statement, as did Rosanne Casimir, kúkpi7 (chief) of Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc and tribal chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council.
“The community of Skeetchestn has been saddened by the discovery that 17 wild horses had been shot and killed north of Wallachin,” the Skeetchestn Indian Band said in a statement. “As our stories tell us, we are connected to all animals that walk, fly and swim. It is our responsibility to ensure that all life is respected and cared for.”
While the band’s statement noted the wild horses killed did not roam on its lands, the band expressed sadness that the crime took place near its community.
“We are mourning the unnecessary loss of wildlife that we share this beautiful landscape with,” the statement concluded, urging anybody with information to call the RCMP at 250-299-7462.
“Our Secwépemc traditional stories and laws teach us how the horse is a sacred animal, bringing many teachings to our people with healing, and symbolizes a powerful entity of strength and freedom,” Casimir said.
“Secwépemc people have a connection with all living beings and have been taught that all animals should be treated with utmost dignity and respect. This senseless act has not gone unnoticed by our communities and can be felt through the spirits of our people.”
Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area I director Tricia Thorpe spoke to KTW about the unsettling incident.
“I’m just appalled,” Thorpe said. “But I would need to talk to my constituents about what they would like to see happen because I’m a voice for the and I would encourage them to reach out to me.”
Thorpe can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Mike Grenier is TNRD director for Area J, which includes Savona and Tobiano just west of where the horses were found.
“It’s hard to imagine anyone could find any justification for shooting 17 feral horses. They're part of our ecosystem and it’s hard to imagine why anyone would take it upon themselves to terminate 17 horses,” Grenier said. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of this to stop it from happening again.”