N.C. Horse Dies of Gunshot Wound

Authorities have questioned a group of Marines after a horse was shot in his paddock in early November near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in Onslow County, N.C. The horse died of his wound on Nov. 21.

Owner Elizabeth Kachmor said she is "furious" that this happened to her animal, a 7-year-old Canadian Sport Horse named Alderbaran.

According to Kachmor, Alderbaran was lethargic in his paddock on the morning of Nov. 9. After examining him, the barn staff noticed he had a small wound on his side and a temperature of 102°F.

Alderbaran on beach

Alderbaran, shown on right, was euthanized after being shot in the abdomen.

When his condition did not improve, Kachmor took Alderbaran to North Carolina State University's veterinary hospital on Nov. 11. But still, "nobody could figure out what was wrong with him," she said.

Fluid began building up around his lungs Nov. 16. Veterinarians removed 200 liters of fluid from Alderbaran's abdomen.

On Nov. 18, an NC State veterinarian ordered X rays of Alderbaran's abdomen and the small spot on his side, just behind the girth area. This X ray revealed a bullet from a .22-caliber rifle lodged in the horse's liver. Veterinarians attempted surgery last Friday, but chose not to proceed because the damage was more than they had anticipated. Alderbaran was euthanized.

Police later found shell casings for a .22 in the driveway of the stable where Alderbaran was kept.

Spokesman 1st Lt. Philip Klay from Camp Lejeune confirmed that "some Marines have spoken to authorities," in regards to the incident, but he was unable to provide any further information.

Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown will not comment on the case until an arrest is made.

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Liz Brown

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