TUBA CITY, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Officials say nearly 200 feral horses were found dead in a stock pond due to drought and famine near Tuba City.
According to Navajo Nation officials, President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez traveled to Tuba City on May 2 where the 191 horses were found dead.
"This tragic incident exemplifies the problem the Navajo Nation faces in an overpopulation of feral horses," President Begaye said. “There is a process for round-ups and it begins with the local chapter. What they need is a resolution requesting a round-up, which prompts the assistance of the Navajo Nation and BIA. Help is there, but they have to ask for it.”
In response to the incident, Navajo Nation officials sent staff to Gray Mountain, where the dead horses were found, to contain the area and mitigate any environment or toxic situation.
“Resources at the scene indicate that foul play was not a factor," Vice President Nez said. "These horses weren’t shot or maliciously killed by an individual. These animals were searching for water to stay alive. In the process, they, unfortunately burrowed themselves into the mud and couldn’t escape because they were so weak.”
Officials say Gray Mountain has faced a growing feral horse problem for years, and there is an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 feral horses on the Navajo Nation.