An unsettling trend has thieves cutting the tails off horses in Colorado.
Megan Morrison, a competitive rider, told local station KDVR that it is well known in the horse community that people do this to sell the tails on the black market.
When visiting her 5-year-old horse Eleanor, Morrison was devastated to discover that a large part of her tail was cut off overnight at the Ken Caryl Equestrian Center. Eight tails were stolen at the facility over the same week.
"Horses, they communicate by their behaviors, and mostly their ears and their tails, and you're taking that away from them. So it just hurts you to the core knowing that's happening to someone, something that you love and you've invested a lot of time and money into," Morrison said.
It could take years before these horses see their tails return to normal. Horse tails take two weeks or more to grow just one centimeter, according to Kentucky Equine Research.
Horse tails can be used to make many things, from crafts to jewelry, or even violin bows, according to Morrison.
The Ken Caryl Equestrian Center told KDVR it already has a good system with cameras and regular patrols of the facility, but that it will be upping security to fight tail theft and protect boarded horses.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is investigating the missing tails.
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