Hikers witness the willful destruction of an older mule

The (mule) on the ledge was older and had a bad limp prior to the incident. The horse handler (wrangler) and the pack of horses (about a dozen) passed us on the hike out. We noticed the dark horse (mule) had a bad limp and commented on it.
The handler tied it to the younger, stronger horse. The old one couldn’t make the last stretch so he whipped it causing the younger horse to rear up and plummeted down (to its death).

After some great struggle and some help from my wife and I, we got ( the mule) it to its feet…. I had no way to put it down short of pushing it off the cliff. I heavily contemplated doing so but we decided to comfort it instead. Broke our hearts. We were met with great disrespect from the handler.

Sadly, I don’t know the outcome of the mule. I’m certain that it died. I contemplated a mercy kill as I have assisted suffering animals b4, but the only way I could figure was pushing it off the cliff and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was also concerned about falling from the ledge myself. We petted it for about an hour and then went home.

Hikers to Havasu Falls that witnessed the tragic end of a sweet, older mule