LANDER — The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the suspicious deaths of several wild horses found on federally protected on public land south of U.S. Highway 287 in the Red Desert.

“A reward of $1,000 is being offered by the BLM for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people involved in the deaths of the horses,” a press release from BLM WyomingWind River/Bighorn Basin District public affairs spokeswoman Sarah Beckwith stated.

A total of five horses have been discovered since Nov. 5. Three were found between Nov. 5 and Nov. 7 – one on Green Mountain and two near Three Forks/Atlantic City Road in the Pickett Lake area. Two others were found mid-January on the same road south of Crooks Mountain.

“Preliminary findings suggest all five horses were shot,” the press release stated.

BLM law enforcement officers are working with brand inspectors, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department during the investigation.

“It is illegal to harm, harass or kill wild horses,” the release state, citing the Wild FreeRoaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. “The BLM is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for public land users and to protecting public land resources from illegal activity.”

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