The NSW Police Force has alleged that two brumbies have been illegally shot with arrows in the Kosciuszko National Park.
On September 30, Cooma-based investigators from the Rural Crime Prevention Team attended Three Mile Creek, Kiandra in the Park alongside Traffic and Highway Patrol Command officers in respect to two brumbies that had been shot.
Posting to social media last Thursday, the Rural Crime Prevention Team said police located a deceased bay brumby stallion, with two arrow wounds to the stomach and shoulder, with the top of an arrow still embedded in the shoulder.
A grey brumby colt was also located alive with an arrow wound high on the nearside shoulder, and the tip of the arrow embedded into the horse’s wound.
Police said that the colt was able to bear weight and walked off into the bush with another mob of horses.
Rural crime investigators then tracked the path of the injured horses, locating and seizing a broken arrow around 100 metres from where the deceased horse was.
A short time later police were alerted to a vehicle that was bogged not far from where the horses were shot. The occupants of the vehicle had been towed out and left the area prior to police being notified, however, officers were given the vehicle’s registration number and it was stopped by local Traffic and Highway Patrol officers as it was entering Cooma.
Police say that inside the vehicle two bows were located, as well as arrows that matched the arrow seized at the scene where the horses were shot.
The two 17-year-old occupants were arrested and taken to the Cooma Police Station where they were interviewed and later released while investigations continued.
On October 1, a 17-year-old youth from Holbrook was issued with court attendance notices to appear at the Cooma Children’s Court on December 9 in respect to aggravated cruelty (two counts), hunting in a National Park (two counts), possessing a bow in a National Park and possessing a dog in a National Park.
The other 17-year-old male from Tallangatta, Victoria was issued with a $500 infringement for possessing a bow in a National Park.
Police say that efforts remain ongoing to locate the injured grey brumby colt.
The Kiandra area of the Kosciuszko National Park is currently the subject of a horse trapping and removal program being led by National Parks and Wildlife Services.
Earlier this year, it was announced that horses would be removed from three priority areas that were impacted during the Black Summer bushfires as part of a post-fire emergency control program.
A Department of Planning, Industry and Environment spokesperson said that no specific target for removal has been set, but all horses will be removed from the Nungar Plain management area and the population will be reduced in the Cooleman and Kiandra Plain management areas to a “sustainable level.”
The DPIE estimates that there are around 4000 horses in these three areas.
“The current horse control program is an appropriate response to scientific advice that the effect of the summer bushfires on the park’s natural values will be exacerbated by the impact of wild horses,” the DPIE spokesperson said in August.
If you have and information about illegal hunting, animal cruelty or other rural crimes please speak to your local police or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.