Yakima Nation police are investigating the deaths of at least 11 horses near the southern boundary of the tribe’s reservation over the last few months.
Cross-posted from the Seattle Times online
TOPPENISH, Yakima County — (AP) Yakama Nation police are investigating the deaths of at least 11 horses near the southern boundary of the tribe’s reservation over the last few months.
Tribal Council Chairman Harry Smiskin told the Yakima Herald-Republic that few details were available.
Motorists reported seeing the carcasses from Highway 97 in the Satus Pass area, where thousands of horses roam in herds. Len Schulmeister, the owner of Pine Springs Resort, which is 13 miles north of Goldendale on Highway 97, said he had seen eagles eating the carcasses of horses.
Speculation has focused on whether the horses were killed as bait by eagle hunters. Although eagle hunting is illegal, selling the feathers can be lucrative.
Representatives for the State Patrol and Yakima County Sheriff’s Office said their agencies were not involved in the Satus Pass investigation.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the shooting of four riding horses in an Outlook pasture this month. At least one of them died. Sheriff’s officials said they had no leads in that case.