PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Officials with the Forest Service say since October 2018, 16 dead horses have been found in parts of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).
In a statement released Monday afternoon, officials say of the 16 horses found, 12 were found outside of the Heber Wild Horse Territory near Forest Roads 144, 146, and 50, and four of them were found on February 7, near 300 Rd.
"There are a variety of factors that may lead to horse deaths, which can include accidents, natural causes, predation, and shootings," read the statement. Officials, however, did note that 10 of the dead horses have evidence of gunshot wounds, and five of them were severely decomposed and the cause of death remains undetermined. One horse died of blunt force trauma usually associated with a car collision.