More Than 140 Ponies Die During Hindu Pilgrimage

Approximately 143 ponies have died while taking part in an annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, India, according to a report from the Hindustan Times. Last year, 60 ponies died during the pilgrimage.

The report indicates that many of the ponies died after becoming tangled in razor wire used for security purposes.

There are two routes pilgrims can take on the annual sacred journey 13,500 feet into the Himalaya mountains to worship at a stalagmite believed to symbolize the powers of the Hindu god Lord Shiva: the Sonamarg-Amarnath route and the Pahalgam-Amarnath route. There are three veterinary medical camps stationed on each of the pathways.

According to the report, animal husbandry officials announced that 48 ponies have died on the Sonamarg route and 95 have perished on the Pahalgam route. Additionally, about 5,800 ponies from both trails have been injured in some way during the trek.

The report notes that security personnel responsible for the razor wire indicate they have not yet received any formal or informal complaints from animal husbandry representatives; however, they are investigating the incident. will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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