Gruesome find leaves Venezuelan veterinary students in tears

MIAMI HERALD:

Rafael Toro, a student at Venezuela’s top veterinary school, suspected something was amiss when a beloved horse called Miss Congeniality didn’t greet him at the fence one recent morning along with others in the campus’ small herd.

The bright-eyed, bay-colored mare had earned her nickname for helping disabled students overcome their fear of riding horses. They say she was smart and even trotted up when you called her name.

To his shock, Toro discovered the horse’s skin and dismembered bones hidden among trees in the corner pasture of the sprawling campus in the central Venezuelan city of Maracay. Thieves overnight had hopped the fence, slaughtered the horse and made off with her meat — either to sell or to feed their hungry families.

“I burst into tears,” said Toro, who delivered the grim news to other students. “We came here, and together we all cried.”

The slaughter isn’t an isolated incident. Across Venezuela, as the once-wealthy oil nation’s economy collapses and sky-high inflation leaves residents struggling to afford scarce food, crimes of hunger and desperation are soaring.

Read more at the Miami Herald

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