Fewer than 100 wild horses roam the northern end of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, so finding a foal is a sign of hope for the fragile herd.
The Corolla Wild Horse Fund announced the discovery March 27, reporting the filly was born last week. Her name is Dove.
“Dove is extra special to us because her grandfather is our dear Amadeo, who passed away in 2020,” the fund wrote.
“We cannot afford to lose horses due to human-caused problems. They face so many challenges to their survival that are beyond our control. … Last year we lost two foals to natural causes.”
An ongoing DNA project has revealed Dove is the grandchild of Hazel, an elder female who made headlines by serving as a babysitter for multiple mares in need of rest and food. Hazel, who died in 2021, was estimated to be nearly 30 years old.
North Carolina’s wild horses are known for lingering on beaches like tourists, where the ocean breeze frees them from the plague of bugs in the sand dunes, experts say.
Living conditions on the barrier islands are consistently dangerous, including vicious brawls waged by males over turf and females.