Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010
A two-year-old horse from the Shackleford Banks herd was recently found trapped at a dry waterhole. The hole had been dug by the wild horses to reach drinking water, but was dry at the time. Wildlife biologist and herd manager Dr. Sue Stuska happened to find the filly during a routine census. It was not clear how the horse had gotten into the hole. The filly exhausted herself and damaged her eye while struggling to get out, and, when pulled from the hole, could not stand. The horse was exhausted enough, though, to permit handling. Without sedation, her legs were restrained, her eyes protected, and she was moved to a horse backboard. Resource management specialist Dr. Michael Rikard assisted in restraining and transporting her by ATV cart to the shore. The park landing craft, piloted by small craft operator Glen Lewis, then transported the horse to park headquarters. Assisting were maintenance workers Chris Willis and Bob Tabor, interpretive ranger Cheryl Munyan, and protection operations supervisor Shad Dusseau. Carolyn Temple, a professional photographer shadowing Dr. Stuska, documented the event. The park’s horse management partner, the Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc., is providing a home and veterinary care for the filly. Horses removed from the seashore are available for adoption though the Foundation. Though this filly has already been spoken for, other horses are currently available at the foundation’s web site.