With a heavy heart we have to tell you that our search team found Mirabelle deceased this afternoon. We are so sorry, we know this will fall hard on so many horse advocates in our community, as it does on us.
The SRWHMG team as well as AZDA Liaison Makenzie, investigated the body and the scene around it thoroughly, and all of the evidence clearly shows that it was a mountain lion attack. We were not quite sure if we still had mountain lions anymore, but now we know for sure.
There were tracks, clear puncture wounds from large teeth and a mountain of sand on top of her (cashing), which is what mountain lions do when they want to preserve their prey for later. We have pictures of the evidence, but are choosing not to post those and will remember all of her happy days instead.
Out of respect for nature we are leaving Mirabelle where we found her and we ask the public to do the same.
Mirabelle’s band knows what happened and they have accepted her loss. It is a terrible loss for them and it is a terrible loss for us, our volunteers, and the entire community.
We find comfort in knowing how wonderful her life was and how loved she was by so many people. We want to thank everyone for your concern and for helping to search. We have a wonderful horse community.
In honor of Mirabelle we also want to remind all horse advocates that there are wild horse babies who are less fortunate than Mirabelle.
Bands with foals are being caught in northeastern Arizona and sold without limitation on slaughter, by the Apache Sitgreaves Forest Service. (not our Forest Service) There is now a bill that will prevent killing and slaughter of the Alpine wild horses, it is Senate Bill S.B. 1057, and we need to pass it.
Please grieve for Mirabelle and then stand up for the Alpine wild horses in her honor, by calling your State Senators to support and pass S.B. 1057! This is the number : 602-926-3559 you can call and ask politely who your State senator is (just give them your address) then she will connect you with his/her office. Don’t just leave a message, but try to really connect with your Senator! Thank you everyone!
Remember; at least she was born free and died free. Rest in Peace Sweet girl.
Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.
Photos by SRWHMG Erin Yager and SRWHMG Rick Blandford.