Island Horses Get Sick After Raiding Camps

ponies on Assateague island

When we go out into the wild, we need to always remember to minimize our presence there. Keep all food and waste contained, and take everything that you brought with you back home. If you are in a “primitive” area with limited facilities, it is best practice to even bag up your human waste. Any wild animal, not just wild horses, can become quite ill if they consume our human food and / or waste. ~ HfH

From: The Dispatch

ponies on Assateague island

Wild horses on Assateague Island

ASSATEAGUE — At least two wild horses on Assateague became ill after raiding campsites and eating human food, further illustrating the importance of limiting interaction between humans and the wild animals on the barrier island.
Ironically, just a week after Assateague officials posted a picture on their Facebook page about a wild horse named Chama Wingapo raiding a tent for food, the mare was one of two horses reported to be acting ill on the barrier island this week. Chama Wingapo was reportedly showing symptoms of collick in the bayside campground, but she was treated successfully. A group of campers in the bayside campground area reported Chama Wingapo, or N2BHS-AI by its alpha-numeric name, was part of a larger band that came into their campsite while they were eating breakfast.

The campers quickly left the area, but Chama Wingapo stayed behind and enjoyed a hearty, human breakfast. An inventory of what was missing after the horse left the campsite revealed Chama Wingapo ate a whole bag of sugar and a stack of maple pancakes along with other random food items. Assateague officials this week characterized the horse’s condition as human induced illness.

A second wild horse on Assateague, known as Little Dipper, or N2BHS-2, was also seen showing symptoms of collick in the oceanside campground. While it could not be determined what Little Dipper ate, it was apparent the horse was also suffering from human induced illness. Unlike Chama Wingapo, Little Dipper was not treated, but was able to get up and resume foraging for its natural diet.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
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