National News

Wild horses on North Carolina islands survive another monster storm

Observers say horses suffered no injuries

OCRACOKE, N.C. - Hurricane Dorian was no match for the wild horses that frolic on the beaches in North Carolina.

As coastal North Carolina surveys the flooding and devastation after the hurricane crashed ashore last week, it appears the wild horses of the Outer Banks survived yet another monster storm.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which manages the resilient beauties, posted a series of photos after the storm showing several of them seemingly unbothered as they munched on grass in the rain. It said it appears horses in the Outer Banks survived the storm.

"The storm has passed and things at the farm are good! No major damage. Lots of water but it should drain off quickly. Nothing these beach ponies aren't used to," the Corolla Wild Horse Fund posted.

In a follow up post, it said the horses appear accounted for and there's no reason to believe they suffered any injuries. It said the horses at the Rachel Carson Reserve and Ocracoke were all safe.

When Hurricane Dorian approached, the colonial Spanish mustangs huddled together to ride out the storm using a trick horses have used for centuries.

During storms, they move to higher ground and gather under sturdy oak trees to shelter from the storm, the Fund said. They "ride out winds and rain as their ancestors did before them — in huddles, butts to the wind," it added.

Unlike human beings living in the Outer Banks, the wild horses are better equipped to handle a hurricane. Before a storm hits, they sense a change in air pressure and group up together.

"Remember, they've been doing this for 500 years!" the Fund said.

The horses had extra hay and grain, and their troughs were filled with water. They also had ID tags braided into their manes, and the herd manager rode out the storm at the farm with them, the Fund said.

Dorian's nearly two-week path unleashed devastation in the Bahamas, where it flattened homes and swept away neighborhoods, leaving at least 50 people dead. It's left as many as 70,000 people homeless in the islands.

In the United States, it made landfall in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and brushed other East Coast states. Five deaths have been blamed on the storm so far.

More than 1 million people in parts of South Carolina and North Carolina were under mandatory evacuation orders, forecasters said.


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