Havasupei, AZ – REI used an obviously lame, and suffering, horse to pack gear to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, eye witness accounts tell. On June 13, two REI vans pulled up to the parking lot and a pile of gear including loaded coolers and a propane tank were unloaded from the vans. The process of packing all the gear onto the horses took some time. When the wrangler threw a cooler marked “C3 REI HAV” on the lame horse’s back, he screamed out in pain, rocked forward, tried to get the weight off his hurt leg, then lifted his hind rear leg and held it up. In response, the wrangler lashed another cooler marked REI on him and he was put at the back of the pack train. When the pack train headed to the bottom of the canyon on their 20 mile journey, the lame horse tripped and almost fell off the canyon wall at the first switchback.
The open sores and saddle sores make me sick. The thought that today there probably isn’t any water at Hilltop makes me sad. Knowing that they are packing up injured animals is beyond me, I have no words. Except, this has to STOP! This is not OKAY! This is on every level upsetting and it tears at my heart more than I ever knew it could. As I was driving away I cried my brains out. There is just too much sadness. We have to change this, we have, because if we don’t things will just get worse and we have to change this because children even Havasupai children need to learn what is right and what is wrong. – P.E., Telluride Colorado
Comments on REI’s Facebook page are full of anger over the use of injured horses to pack gear for tourists. A petition with over 200,000 signatures is calling for humane treatment of the pack horses at Havasupei Falls. For more information about the systematic abuse of pack animals at the Havasupei Falls trail, please read our article from June 7.
The last horse in the pack is lame.
The lame horse with REI gear holding his left leg.
The trail leading to Havasupei Falls. It’s a 20 mile round trip, and the horses are forced to pack gear up and down the trail, often with no food or water.
REI van unloading gear and tourists.
When the horses and mules are given water, it is often unsanitary.Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773
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