UPDATED: Not following the rules endangers the Outer Banks’ wild horses

One of the wild horses roaming the northern Outer Banks. [Courtesy Corolla Wild Horse Fund]

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund says a mustang with a non-critical medical condition is not in immediate danger of being removed from the wild herd on the Currituck Outer Banks, but instead is an example of why people need to follow the rules and stay 50 feet away.

“We are trying to prevent his removal and it takes a lot of time, work, and worry on the part of our staff and vet team,” Meg Puckett, her manager for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund said in a Facebook post Saturday. “We are making progress but this morning he’s been constantly annoyed by people trying to get a closer look at him. How devastating would it be to have to remove him due to habituation after working so hard to keep him wild?”

As tourism season begins, the CWHF is literally begging visitors to follow the rules and keep your distance from the wild horse herd that roams the the northern beaches. And they’re reminding people that feeding wild horses is potentially deadly for the horse.

“Last year we lost a yearling colt that was fed a whole apple and choked on it, aspirated, suffered for days, and then died. All because someone thought their one apple wouldn’t hurt,” Puckett said.

The horse the CWHF is watching with the medical condition provides an example “of what goes on behind the scenes that people may not know about, and their bad behavior could seriously interrupt the work we’ve been doing to keep him wild. It also makes it difficult to observe him for natural behaviors when he is being unnaturally pushed and prodded by people trying to get close to him,” Puckett said.

It is illegal to come within 50 feet of the wild horses, and the law is strictly enforced by the Currituck County Sheriff’s Office.

“Please stop and think before you get closer for a picture. You may not think you are doing anything harmful but you are,” Puckett said. “Give the horses the space and respect they deserve so that they can stay here on the beach, wild and free, for many generations to come.”
More information on the wild horse herd, see: https://www.corollawildhorses.com/community-wild-horse…/

About Kari Pugh 1073 Articles
Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com