Wild horse dies of ‘swamp cancer’ at Chincoteague Island, others sickened

It’s called “swamp cancer” but acts more like a fungus. The disease has killed a wild pony at the popular Chincoteague Island in Virginia and sickened several others.

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Co., which helps care for the wild horses, said on its Facebook page that one horse, 5-year-old Essie, had surgery after being infected with “swamp cancer” but did not survive. “Apparently her infection was too far gone,” it said. “We had our hopes up, but it wasn’t meant to be.

At least seven ponies at Chincoteague have recently contracted the illness and undergone surgery. The volunteer fire company said the fungus “looks exactly like sesame seeds.”

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
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