Rewards totalling $US5000 have been offered over the deaths of six wild burros on federal land on Arizona.
Five of the burros who were shot died and the sixth, a foal, died as a result of the loss of its mother.
Evidence collected at the scene by the Bureau of Land Management indicates other animals may have been shot. Its investigation is ongoing.
Federal rangers are seeking the public’s help in finding those responsible.
They are offering a reward of up to $US2500 for information leading to a conviction. The Humane Society of the United States has put up another $US2500.
The dead animals were found in the Lake Pleasant Herd Management Area, northwest of Phoenix in Maricopa County and southern Yavapai County, on March 13.
“The BLM is actively working this crime scene and gathering evidence of this offensive act,” Hassayampa Field Officer Rem Hawes said.
“We are committed to the protection and management of wild burros and horses, and take this kind of criminal violation seriously. This is why we are asking for the public’s assistance.”
The humane society’s Arizona state director, Kari Nienstedt, said: “In addition to the obvious callousness of this act, these animals are protected under the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.
“We are hopeful that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this heinous crime.”
The offenders are liable for a fine of up to $US2000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year for each violation.
People who have any information may call: 1-800-637-9152.