(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –When Ralph Turner arrived at his usual swimming spot, Deep Hole, about 12 miles from the remote Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) community in Australia’s Northern Territory, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
The 330-foot waterhole was dried up and the bodies of dozens of wild horses were strewn along its bed.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I’d never seen anything like it. I didn’t stop to count but there were lots and lots of them. It was devastating,” Turner told CNN. “I just can’t stop thinking of how they died, desperate for water in this heat wave. The horses used to be good and strong a couple of years ago.”
Rohan Smyth, a media spokesperson for the local Aboriginal community, said the thirsty animals went looking for the water and, having found none, had nowhere to go.
“People in the local community take care of the feral horses. They are very concerned about the local wild animals’ welfare,” he told CNN.