• Hurricane Florence: North Carolina's wild horses should survive experts say

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    With Hurricane Florence inching closer to the Carolinas, some who vacation in the Outer Banks may be wondering if the wild horses that live there will be able to survive the storm.

    Experts at Corolla Wild Horse Fund, who have been fielding questions and comments from animal lovers, say the horses should be OK and that they’ve survived powerful storms before, The Associated Press reported.

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    The horses are expected to have first come to the Outer Banks hundreds of years ago, according to the AP. They even know when the weather changes and instincts kick in for what to do during a storm.

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    The horses will go to high ground during floods. During times of high winds, they’ll look for shrub thickets and maritime forests, the AP reported.

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    “They know where to go to stay high and dry and are probably in better shape right now than most of us humans who are scrambling with final preparations. They are much better off without any help from us; anything we might do in the hopes of ‘protecting’ them would probably end up being more dangerous and stressful for them than the storm,” a spokesperson with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund wrote.

    Wild Spanish mustang grazing among the dunes. Experts say the wild horses that live on the Carolina coast should survive Hurricane Florence.
    John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

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    There have been wild horse deaths during storms, but they are rare. Five wild horses drowned during Hurricane Isabel in 2003, John Taggart, an associate professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington told the AP.

    Meg Puckett, the herd manager for Corolla Wild Horses, said people will probably not be able to round the horses up or move them. 

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    “They’re wild. They’re like deer. It would be like herding deer,” Puckett told the Huffington Post.

    She also said herding would lead to fighting and injuries to the horses, the Huffington Post reported.

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