Beach Patrols to Protect Corolla Wild Horses
The death of a two-week old horse in Corolla has led a conservation group to hire beach patrols to educate the public about the wild horses that roam there. The horse died after being fed, which is against the law. Karen McCalpin is Executive Director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. She says her small staff wasn't able to adequately protect the horses in their 11 mile, 75-hundred acre habitat.
Karen McCalpin: "This has been a growing problem because obviously the more people want to see the horses, the more opportunities there are for violating the law. We get 50 to 60 thousand new people here every week. With all that geographic area to cover, we just had to have the additional help."
McCalpin hired four people, including 3 off-duty police officers, to patrol the beach.
McCalpin: "Their primary purpose is to educate folks who are here to see the horses and to intercede when there are some actions taking place that are violations of the Wild Horse Ordinance."
109 horses make up the herd. 7 have been shot and killed in the last 10 years. And 3 horses have been hit by vehicles.
McCalpin: "We want everyone to be able to experience the uniqueness of this area and we're proud of being one of the only few locations left with wild horses. But I had to look for some creative way to help us to protect them and also to protect the people that are coming to see them."
McCalpin says people often walk right up to the horses because they are mild-mannered. But she says people need to remember that the horses are not tame.