The Outer Banks hold countless dangers for unsuspecting visitors, from sharks to rattlesnakes, but none compares to the wild horses in February
It’s their mating season, a time when seasoned stallions are known to stand on two legs, throwing punches like boxers. They bite, too.
“Wild horses are just that — wild,” the Corolla Wild Horse Fund warned in a Facebook post Monday.
“They are unpredictable and can be dangerous. As we head into breeding season please remember to give the horses lots of extra space!”
Humans are not the targets but can be accidentally drawn into the violence by straying too close to the free-roaming animals, the fund says.
There are multiple herds of wild horses in North Carolina, including one at Corolla and one on the Shackleford Banks within Cape Lookout National Seashore.
It’s against the law to get within 50 feet of the horses, but fighting stallions don’t always respect boundaries. Their fights can explode without warning between vacation homes and even in the middle of roads, lasting 15 minutes or more, experts told McClatchy News in 2019.
The males typically fight over two things this time of year: territory or mares, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund says.
“When they are fighting for territory, they do not hold back,” herd manager Meg Puckett told McClatchy News last year. “It’s completely natural. … Wounds from fighting are just part of a stallion’s life.”