Dozens of wild horses found dead amid Southwest drought in Arizona

Published: 09th May 2018 12:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2018 12:18 PM  

Off a northern Arizona highway surrounded by pastel-colored desert is one of the starkest examples of drought's grip on the American Southwest: Dozens of dead horses surrounded by cracked earth, swirling dust and a ribbon of water that couldn't quench their thirst. (Photo | AP)
Flesh exposed and in various stages of decomposition, the carcasses form a circle around a dry watering hole sunken in the landscape. (Photo | AP)
It's clear this isn't the first time the animals have struggled. Skeletal remain are scattered on the fringes and in an adjacent ravine. (Photo | AP)
It's a symptom of a burgeoning wild horse population and the scarcity of water on the western edge of the Navajo Nation following a dry winter and dismal spring runoff. Conditions aren't forecast to improve anytime soon, and tribal officials suspect other animals have died with not enough to eat or drink. (Photo | AP)
Animals were accustomed to finding relief at the stock pond where the horses died, but locals say the pool of water beneath the decades-old earthen dam has dried up more quickly each year. Families have been downsizing their herds because they can't rely on the vegetation. (Photo | AP)
Tribal officials counted 118 dead horses and two cows this week but that tally doesn't account for any carcasses that might have been pushed deeper into the mud by the other struggling animals, or for skeletal remains. (Photo | AP)
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