SCOTT SONNER

Associated Press

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Federal agents at a wild horse roundup in northeast California are investigating the death of a young mustang that may have been shot before the controversial gather began this week about 120 miles northwest of Reno.

Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Jan Bedrosian says the agency is "actively investigating" but hasn't determined the cause of death of the foal found Wednesday by a wildlife biologist with a horse protection group.

Biologist Craig Downer estimates the two-week old horse was shot and killed within the past month. He fears it may have been a victim of growing tension between ranchers and mustang advocates.

BLM plans to roundup 2,000 horses over the next month because it believes the overpopulated herds are causing ecological damage along the California-Nevada line.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

Recommended for you