By DANA SMITH
Tribune Staff Reporter
ONLOOKERS watched in horror as a surrey horse, with tourists, collapsed and died on the corner of Dowdeswell and Christie Streets yesterday afternoon.
One woman, who asked to remain anonymous, called the scene “disturbing” and called for an investigation into the working conditions for horses.
“It was just so disturbing looking at that horse,” she said. “It’s a poor reflection on our society because that horse looked hungry, it looked starved and we need to do better.
“Those guys downtown need to be investigated. We need to shed the light on that.”
According to eyewitnesses, the animal was a 22-year-old female named Bloody Mary who was drawing a yellow and blue surrey – one of downtown Nassau’s première attractions.
After the horse’s collapse, it was tied to the back of a truck and dragged out of the street reportedly at the insistance of the police.
Kwesi Smith, a veterinarian who was called to the scene, told The Tribune it was too early to determine what caused the death of the animal.
“I would say exhaustion, but it’s not that hot outside,” he said.
Mr Smith took blood samples of the dead animal for further testing.
President of the Bahamas Humane Society, Kim Aranha also weighed in on the horse’s death and hinted that the death could be related to alleged poor working conditions for carriage horses.
“We have been trying to improve the conditions that these poor animals work in, for years,” she said. “The conditions are appalling.”
Mrs Aranha explained that some carriage drivers often pay no attention to the hours that carriage rides are allowed on the road, with the restricted hours being between 1pm and 3pm.
She also claimed “many” horses are forced to work long hours, are underfed and are not properly licensed.
She said the stable conditions for the horses are “deplorable” and revealed the Humane Society gets frequent letters from tourists who are “upset” about the working conditions for the animals.