In passionate message, Corolla Wild Horse Fund mourns yearling, warns public

By on July 13, 2020

This post from the Wild Horse Fund Facebook page was edited for length.

(CWHF photo by Bruce Wilkins, Corolla NC, April 2019)

Friday evening, we lost Danny, a yearling colt, in a horrific, devastating, completely preventable way. Danny choked on an apple. When we say that apples and carrots KILL wild horses, we are not kidding. We are not being overly dramatic. We are not using scare tactics. Danny was killed by humans who had no regard for the safety of the horses.

Danny most likely had an obstructed esophagus for days before being found by someone who recognized he was in distress and called us. If you see something, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.

We arrived on the scene Friday morning and under the direction of our vet, administered a sedative to try and relax his esophagus and allow the obstruction to pass. He was loaded into the trailer and taken to the rescue farm where the vet was waiting for us. The sedative did help pass the obstruction (the apple), but upon examination, we discovered that it had been lodged in his throat long enough to cause an infection and most likely a rupture to his esophagus.

We got Danny as stable as possible (he was not stable enough to travel to the hospital at NCSU) but at about 7:30 Friday night, Danny died. He most likely suffered a traumatic head injury from thrashing around for days while he was choking, and it’s also likely that the damage to his esophagus caused bleeding into his lungs. If this is hard for you to read, we can promise you it was much harder to witness in person, and it was absolute hell for Danny to suffer through.

All of this could have been prevented. The herd doesn’t deserve to lose a young horse like this. But here we are. So, let’s not let Danny’s death be in vain. Stop feeding the horses. Stop touching the horses, Stop interacting with the horses. If the horses come up to you, walk away. Secure your belongings on the beach. Pick up your garbage. Call and report infractions that you witness.

Educate yourselves about the horses and the ways you can help protect them:

Utilize the resources we’ve made available:

Don’t let this happen again. We are begging you to please help us keep these horses safe. Please don’t let Danny’s death be in vain.


On 5/27/2010 Edge Spectrum, Inc was granted a license by the FCC to serve the public interest in BUXTON, NC as a public trustee of WHOB-LD until 12/1/2020 when it expires. WHOB-LD Channel 50 filed an FCC renewal application for our 2.5 kW station transmitting from BUXTON, NC and serving the BUXTON area on 8/3/2020. Individuals who wish to advise the FCC of facts relating to our renewal application and to whether this station has operated in the public interest should file comments and petitions with the FCC. Information about the FCC broadcast license renewal process is available from the FCC, Washington, DC 20554.



  • sandflea

    I guess rules are for everybody else. Sad.

    Monday, Jul 13 @ 2:06 pm
  • Lou Briccant

    Come on regular commenters, who’s going to be first to blame it on a tourist without evidence?

    Monday, Jul 13 @ 2:07 pm
  • Tri-Village

    That is one of the saddest things I’ve read in a very long time. Very preventable . Hopefully whomever did this gets caught. Maybe its time for stricter consequences . like if you get caught feeding or posing with the horses it should be mandatory to spend a year in prison. No exceptions. Respect the wildlife, respect the beach, and there are more important things in life than a picture from your vacation.

    Monday, Jul 13 @ 2:13 pm
  • Lee

    Hey folks you must understand from someone that lives here, these people are here to vacation and party three thousand new one every week. They tear up the beach the tear up the roads they drive around all night most drunk and they really don’t care. They pay to stay and they are entitled to do what ever they please, I have heard those exact words from their mouth. Imagine three thousand new people in your neighbor hood every week. The best thing you could do for the horses and the residents of carova is to do what Ocracoke did pin them up where everyone could see them without paying for a tour. Cut beach traffic by a third with the tours gone and less people driving the beach to see them. The way carova is growing it will happen sooner or later.

    Monday, Jul 13 @ 4:49 pm
  • hightider

    There are dozens of Youtube videos of tourists acting like idiots around the Corolla herd. One recent video showed a horse sniffing through belongings left out on the beach. I have never understood why the billboard on the Caratoke Highway advising not to feed the horses is visible when you leave the OBX and should be facing the opposite direction. Of course I would like to turn back the clock when the OBX was not overrun by tourists which will never happen – unless enough of them are discouraged by covid. Bad enough they are infecting us with the virus in addition to the traffic. BTW, trying to drive on the 4×4 beach when they are here is like dodging a minefield since they have no idea how to drive on sand.

    Monday, Jul 13 @ 6:33 pm
  • Larry

    I will easily blame tourist for this. No doubt. Everyone that lives/grew up here knows not to touch the horses. It’s common sense! It’s like once they cross the bride over to here they have no brain, no manners and no respect.

    Tuesday, Jul 14 @ 12:52 am
  • Bud

    tourists have destroyed the outer banks and everything nice about it.
    Tourism was good here 20 years ago and the demographic was much more pleasant, now these people are killing us.

    if we could prevent the yankees from coming here and from buying property, we would be so much better off.

    Tuesday, Jul 14 @ 6:11 am
  • sandflea

    Ok Lou, I will. People that live here know better. Just like people who live in Wyoming know better to walk up to Grizzly Bears and not feed them marshmallows.
    Btw, why are you here? All you do is complain about the local residents. I think you’d be much happier in Florida or Georgia where they discount the severity of this virus and appear to be much more focused on profits; where to me you seem to be.

    Tuesday, Jul 14 @ 7:18 am
  • Lou Briccant

    I’m from neither Sandflea, congrats on continuing your streak of being wrong. Believe it or not my family keeps to ourselves when we visit, just enjoy the beach and a few local favorites and go back home leaving the area no worse for the wear… my irritation is with people like yourself that lump us all into a group of miscreants.

    Tuesday, Jul 14 @ 11:12 am
  • G. Taylor

    Poor Danny, shameful and a reminder, their WORLD too, we share Currituck with them, their home 24/7, 365. So shameful.
    Blame game, come on, not the guest, always the NRPOs! PROUD Corolla NRPO!

    Tuesday, Jul 14 @ 2:42 pm
  • Lou Briccant

    And until you have video or witness evidence of someone giving the horse an apple quit being judge, jury and executioner. For all you know a local tossed a partially eaten apple out the window of their vehicle and the horse found it. Just a hypothetical but none of you have any clue.

    Tuesday, Jul 14 @ 7:47 pm
  • Right Hook

    Yes – absolutely terrible and tragic loss of life. Too bad we don’t see the same level of concern for the murder of preborn babies by the thousands. Our reactive concerns for the loss of bird, turtle and horse lives help mask our denial of the greatest loss of lives in our country.

    Wednesday, Jul 15 @ 12:31 pm