'They sensed bad weather coming': Hundreds of wild horses escaped Hurricane Florence unscathed while humans were still preparing to evacuate
There was concern from residents in the state towards the large wild horse population that inhabited the area. But it was announced that the herds got through the storm safely
Hurricane Florence has battered North Carolina following its landfall on September 14, with an estimated 24 deaths, as of Monday. The storm has also resulted in landslides and floods, affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands around the state, though good news has emerged from the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The former posted regular updates about their horses on the Facebook page, assuring followers that they were safe and sound and that they were carrying on with their lives as usual, "enjoying an overcast breeze". The latter, which is based in Ocracoke, also posted positive news, writing, "We are happy to announce that all of the Ocracoke ponies are safe and that the pony pen did not sustain any damage from Hurricane Florence."
The positive updates were met enthusiastically by the state's residents, who were concerned for the horses' welfare after it was previously announced that Hurricane Florence would be impacting the state in the coming days. Jo Langone, the COO of Corolla Wild Horse Fund reaffirmed the animals' safety as well.
"The horses are doing fine! In our area, we did not get hit by the hurricane, but we did have a little storm," she told People. "There are places south and west of us where the people are getting hurt. There was a lot of spotlight on us last week when the hurricane was approaching because it looked like it could be coming to our area, but it ended up not."
While there are around 100 horses in the 7,544 acres of private and public land at the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Langone insists the animals know how to take care of themselves without requiring human intervention. She pointed out how they had survived 500 years and that they had an innate ability to sense bad weather because of how often hurricanes make landfall in the area.
"Like a day before or even a half day before a storm, they know they need to be out of wide open space if we have high winds coming and heavy rains," she said. "They’ll take protection in forest areas or in the marsh, and hunker down. Sometimes they’ll group together because they block off bad weather from each other."
After the brief scare of the high winds and torrential rain, the horses reportedly came out of the trees safe and sound. Herd manager Meg Puckett said the wild herd found higher ground and grouped together against the wind and the rain. "So far it’s been business as usual for them, out grazing in all the normal spots," she said, adding that the horses "are back out at all their usual haunts". Langone similarly confirmed that the animals are now grazing where they normally would.