Military police investigating the slaughter of five horses at an Army base

Wild horses unexpectedly wander into the temporary barracks area for Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, “Broncos,” 25th Infantry Division, at Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, La., on March 2, 2108. The Bronco Soldiers took pictures and kept a respectful distance from the horses. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

The bodies of five wild horses were found in a military training near Louisiana’s Fort Polk, sending animal rights activists into a frenzy.

The so-called “trespass horses” -which are believed to be descendants of horses brought by Spanish explorers and Choctaw tribes- were found shot near a gravel road at the Peason Ridge Military Training Area.

While no Soldiers were in the area when the animals were killed, Army officials will be conducting an investigation, according to Fort Polk Public Affairs Officer Kim Reischling.

Rochester First reports that the trespass horses number around 700 to 750, and have long been nomadic occupants of Fort Polk and the Peason Ridge training zone.

Following an environmental review in 2018, the Army decided the horses should be relocated.

Some advocate groups, such as the Pegasus Equine Guardian Association, have tried suing the Army and the US Department of Agriculture in order to halt the relocation, as the process would likely prove difficult and result in a special bloodline of horses being slaughtered.

PEGA President Amey Hanchey was outraged after hearing about the five slain horses, claiming the slaughter was deliberate, rather than mistaken target ID during a hunt.

“This intentional malicious behavior must not be tolerated. No true hunter would do something this reprehensible,” Hanchey wrote on social media. “Local and federal authorities in the area should make it clear that killing horses is not allowed.”

Military installations around the US are often home to exotic and protected wildlife, with military personnel often taking excessive measures to prevent causing environmental damage.

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