SAVE is grateful to the Daily Sun for reporting the abuse of the Havasupi pack animals in Grand Canyon. However, an accurate exposure of the level and scope of the abuse SAVE seeks to end has yet to reach readers. Scores of eyewitness accounts by tourists, most of whom took photos, include:
09/2018, K.T.: “I saw several horses with open wounds. There was 1 rider who was running his train up the trail. He was kicking, whipping…his horses.”
09/2018, E.J.: “One horse collapsed at the top. There was no water...”
04/2018, R.W.: “I saw a downed horse whose wrangler kicked him in the face to get him back up.”
04/2018 B.B.: “I saw multiple mules with open wounds. I saw many laying on the ground…exhausted and incredibly skinny”.
Meanwhile tribal statements claiming “improvements” are extremely misleading:
“130 pound weight limit.” But no scales to weigh loads, no enforcement person.
“Water at Hilltop.” But with no overseer ensuring every horse gets water. On 6/18/18, 8-10 horses were observed at the helicopter landing tied together in the heat outside a large holding pen enclosing a full trough of water.
“A licensing agreement for the use of pack animals by outfitters.” But it contains no language spelling out the level of condition or age a horse must be before it can pack (therefore worthless).
The tribe makes many millions of dollars from tourism. Their health care, police force and education are provided by the federal government. Why can’t Havasupai provide adequate food, water, shelter and rest for their pack animals? Why, instead, are animals treated so brutally? The answer is not money but culture.
Only SAVE is exposing these realities (rather than excusing them). We hope the Flagstaff community will take to heart and conscience our mission. Demand an end this brutality.
Founder, Stop Animal ViolencE Foundation