Wild horses conjure up romantic images of mustangs roaming vast western spaces, but the reality isn't so beautiful. There are thousands more wild mustangs and burros than the land here can support. Now although it’s illegal in the U.S. to kill horses for meat, reporter Dave Philipps found that some mustangs may, in fact, be going to slaughter houses. A man who’s bought more than 1700 wild horses recently admitted he illegally shipped some of them out of Colorado. Ryan Warner speaks with Dave Philipps to get an update on his investigation.

[Photo: Dave Philipps]

All the Missing Horses: What Happened to the Wild Horses Tom Davis Bought From the Gov’t? reported by Dave Philipps for ProPublica

Wild horse buyer under investigation for breaking state law by Dave Philipps for The Gazette

Is there a way through the West's bitter wild horse wars? by Dave Philipps for High Country News (subscription required)