Drought Takes Heavy Toll on Roaming Horses

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The water hole at Lichii naazniil near Cottonwood, Ariz. has dried up.

A rotten smell of dead carcasses linger in the air. The rancid smell came from the 17 dead horses in various stages of decomposition around the crater of dried mud. A few of them had legs and arms buried beneath the clay as if they were emerging from the ground. One horse almost had its face completely submerged in the mud.

A decomposing filly lay outside the horrific scene, which is now barricaded off with barbed-wire fencing that was put up last week by the Cottonwood/Tselani Chapter; supplies were provided by the BIA office out of Chinle.

Near the north side of the fence is an unbranded female bay horse that had faltered and bloated. Both Eugene Tso, who works as a Chinle Chapter Grazing Official out of the BIA Division of Natural Resources, and Steven Tsosie, who works as a Cottonwood Chapter Grazing Official, say that they remember the bay horse wobbling around the week before. Read more here.