KALAE, Molokai (HawaiiNewsNow) - Someone is shooting horses dead on Molokai, and the owners of the ranch where it happened are mystified as to why it's happening.
The ranch owned by Richard and Roxanne French is located in Kalae, above Kalaupapa.
First, a horse and a cow were shot dead about a month and a half ago. At first, the family thought the animals were victims of poachers. But then last week Wednesday, two more horses were found shot to death; a third horse was gravely wounded.
Roxanne French said she and her husband have had their ranch for about 20 years, and have never had a problem until now.
The dead horses include a male that was used for stud, and a pregnant mare.
"The mare that was killed, this was her first colt she was due to have any time," said Roxanne French. "And over the course of her life, she could've had at least ten more colts at an average of even a minimum of $2,500. You're looking at over $20,000 just in one horse."
The Frenches have had problems with poachers in the past, but Roxanne French said this is the first time their horses have been killed.
"It's hard to say what's going on," she said. "I don't know, some sicko on the island with a grudge, I guess, against us. I wish I could tell you folks why this is happening. I don't know."
Maui County Police Lt. Wayne Ibarra said Maui police have opened a criminal property damage investigation. However, any suspects will likely face more charges because of the value of the horses.
Anyone with information is being asked to call Molokai Police at 553-5355, or Maui CrimeStoppers at (808) 242-6966.