Wild horses of North Carolina to ride out hurricane with ‘butts to the wind’

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The majestic herds of wild horses that roam North Carolina’s Outer Banks will likely ride out Hurricane Dorian’s whipping winds and strong storm surge by huddling together with their “butts to the wind” – a stabilizing trick that’s worked well for more than five centuries.

“The wild horses are better equipped to handle a hurricane than most of us humans living on the Outer Banks,” the Corolla Wild Horse Fund posted on its Facebook page. “They go to high ground under the sturdy live oak trees to ride the storm out. Remember, they’ve been doing this for 500 years.”

Corolla herd manager Meg Puckett said the horses have an “institutional knowledge” of where it’s high, dry and safe and added that hurricanes are “one of the few times we see a lot of different harems come together.”


A herd of about 100 mustangs that roam the northern beaches of Currituck County have come through hurricanes, nor’easters and other punishing encounters with Mother Nature relatively unscathed.

Wild Horses rest on the beach just north of Corolla, NC - file.

Wild Horses rest on the beach just north of Corolla, NC – file. (iStock)

Earlier this week, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund’s rescue farm was busy preparing for the approaching storm. Caretakers and volunteers put together first aid kits, filled troughs with extra water and stocked up on hay and grain at the 31-acre facility. The 15 mustangs on the farm also had ID tags braided into their manes. A herd manager will stay behind on the farm with the horses as Hurricane Dorian approaches the state, Puckett said.

Around noon on Wednesday, North Carolina emergency officials reported the first death in the state related to Hurricane Dorian.

Gov. Roy Cooper said an 85-year-old man died from injuries when he fell off a ladder as he was trying to prepare his home for the strong storm. During a press briefing, Cooper warned the public about the threat of flash flooding, dangerous storm surges and the potential of more than a foot of rainfall when Dorian hits the southeastern coast on Thursday.

Cooper had already ordered evacuations on the state’s fragile barrier islands.


So far, at least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, though the full scope of the disaster is still unknown.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.