September 30, 2014 - 11:51 AM
PENTICTON - Last week, a feral horse was struck and killed by a passing motorists and left on the side of the highway for three days just south of Penticton, according to Global Okanagan.
The young animal was discovered in the ditch beside Highway 97 Monday afternoon. It had two broken legs. It was later removed by a Ministry of Transportation contractor.
Wild horses are often seen along roadsides grazing, but occasionally have wandered out onto the road and been struck by vehicles. A pair of wild horses were apparently struck by a logging truck in March, 2013 and received serious injuries. RCMP officers called to the scene were forced to put them out of their misery by shooting them. Government highway workers then came to remove the carcasses.
At the time, RCMP Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said wild horses are less of a nuisance than deer, but once snow begins to fall at higher elevations, the horse population moves closer to valley areas searching for food. Dellebuur also said the presence of the animals creates controversy and many people believe the horses belong to the Indian band and should be fenced in.
Another horse was rescued from Trout Creek in Summerland by firefighters this past May. Donations were collected to help pay for the animal's recovery.
Feral horses have been a topic of concern in the South Okanagan for a long time and a topic of debate for officials in the area. A spokesperson for the RDOS, Zoe Kirk, said they're working on a long-term plan to control the population of the herd and one consideration is horse contraceptives.
The Penticton Indian Band has been working hard to tame hundreds of wild horses roaming their lands in an attempt to keep them from wandering into dangerous areas such as highways. The band estimates there are nearly 600 horses on their land. Penticton council discussed the possibility of building fences around band land to keep the horses contained and have sent surveys to the PIB asking members about the best ways to control the herd.
Communication between Penticton and Summerland officials and the band is ongoing as they try to find a solution for the wild animals.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014