111 horses have died on tribal land in northern Arizona, apparently after getting trapped in a muddy stock pond over the past week. Photos show clusters of horses with dried mud on their bodies, some overlapping each other. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye issued a drought declaration about two months ago and warned cattle owners to prepare for the conditions. The Navajo Nation reservation spans parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

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Over 100 horses apparent victims of drought on the Navajo Nation near Cameron, Arizona. The pond had a small ribbon of water in its center, surrounded by cracked earth. Photo: Mihio Manus/Navajo Nation via AP

Dozens of horses (111 in total) have died on tribal land in northern Arizona, apparently after getting trapped in a muddy stock pond as a drought grips the region.

Officials are trying to determine how best to deal with the carcasses, which could attract wildlife such as scavenging birds and bring disease to the area.

dead horse arizona, arizona drought 111 horses dead, 111 horses die arizona, arizona drought kills 11 wild horses in navajo country
Photos show clusters of horses with dried mud on their bodies, some overlapping one another. Photo: Mihio Manus/Navajo Nation via AP

The stock pond near Cameron typically is a good spot for thirsty animals because it is one of the last in the region to dry up. But drought conditions left it without much water from runoff this year.

It’s been happening for a few years,‘ said Cameron Chapter President Milton Tso. ‘Usually one or two or three horses would get stuck and die down there, but this year we didn’t get any snow. We hardly get rain down here.

dead horse arizona, arizona drought 111 horses dead, 111 horses die arizona, arizona drought kills 11 wild horses in navajo country
Northeastern Arizona is in the worst stages of drought, with a red swatch of exceptional drought painting over the area that would supply water to Cameron.[/caption
Northern Arizona is going through the worst stages of drought, with the area that supplies water to Cameron under a red swatch of exceptional drought.

[caption id="attachment_63148" align="aligncenter" width="696"]Arizona drought, Arizona drought map, Arizona drought map May 2018 Arizona drought map May 2018. via AZ Climate

A community upstream on the Little Colorado River is the driest on record since October 1, down three inches from normal.

And with this drought, the giant cracks in the Earth won’t stop swallowing up the ground of Arizona.

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AP News

4 COMMENTS

  1. These don’t look stuck. There are bodies quite far out as well. Dehydration could have killed them, and they were writhing around in the mud suffering, but they don’t look trapped. Especially since some bodies are way up on the hill. What is the source of this article? This looks like another mass animal die off. It would be easy to determine dehydration as cause of death. Trapped in mud doesn’t work here.

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