LIHUE — Kauai County is considering what to do with a horse carcass reported lodged in the rocks at Aliomanu Beach on Monday.
Resident reports from the area say the carcass is rotten and putting off quite the stench. It’s sitting a few feet from the surf, stuck along the rocky shoreline. The skin on the head is mostly gone, its white skeleton peeking through.
The county didn’t supply a timeline for removal Wednesday, but confirmed they are working on strategies for removal with both area homeowners and animal specialists.
“Unfortunately, it appears that the horse may have been dead for several days, which makes it extremely challenging to physically move the animal in its deteriorated state,” said Lyle Tabata, deputy county engineer.
“Additionally, its location along the rocky shoreline prevents heavy equipment from reaching it. At this time the horse remains in that location, however, county officials continue to investigate potential options,” said Tabata.
Area resident Evelin Kekesi reached out to The Garden Island after reporting the carcass. She reported it Monday and said it had been on the beach for at least five days before that.
Kekesi didn’t respond to follow-up phone calls from TGI about the carcass, but wrote in a note to TGI with accompanying photographs: “I live in the neighborhood and the smell is unbearable. At times when the wind blows a certain way the smell is so bad inside our house I gag from it and have to hold a towel to my mouth to breathe. I can taste it in my mouth it is so bad. I seriously worried we might get sick from it.”
The unidentified floating object, or “UFO” reported a little further down the beach, is still there, and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has started procurement procedures for removal. It could at least a month to get that object removed through the state process.
Hawaii law states that addressing and clearing up debris or unsanitary conditions on shores and beaches that are located above the high-water mark is the county’s responsibility. Anything that is located below the high water mark is DLNR’s responsibility.
In her note to TGI, Kekesi said she’s worried about the carcass for multiple reasons, and thinks it should be removed promptly.
“When the tide comes up, the dead horse is half submerged in the water. The smell could probably attract sharks,” she said. “Someone needs to do something.”
Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.