'Piles of Dead Horses' Found on Former Olympian's Property
Bruce Akers was charged with 90 counts of animal cruelty
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2016 6:09 PM CDT
Updated Aug 10, 2016 1:30 AM CDT
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A former Olympic wrestler was charged with more than 90 counts of animal cruelty after authorities found "piles of dead horses" on his property in Australia, the Age reports. Police discovered the horrible scene at the home of 63-year-old Bruce Akers back in April, but a judge ruled Monday the details of the case could be released to the media. According to the Herald Sun, Akers wrestled for the Australian Olympic team in 1972 and 1976 and is also a former racehorse trainer. Police say 22 dead horses were found on Akers' property on April 3. Their bones and decaying bodies were found stacked in multiple locations around the 100-acre property.

Of the 23 horses found alive, 20 were "severely starved" and two had to be euthanized. Authorities say there were only eight bags of feed on the property—not even enough to feed the horses for a day—and none were accessible to the horses. "Don't imply that I can't handle what I am doing," the Age quotes Akers as allegedly saying during his arrest. "I'm capable of handling 60 to 70 horses at a time and caring for them quite easily." Authorities were warned of an extreme case of malnutrition in one of Akers' horses back in 2007, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. New homes are being found for Akers' 21 still-living horses. (Another case out of Australia: A driver mowed down 17 kangaroos.)