Foaling around at Assateague
Two new ponies added to wild herd
New foal with mother at Assateague National Seashore (Sharon Hibbard, courtesy Assateague Island Alliance)
The little filly pictured here was born last Friday to an 8-year-old mare dubbed April Star (aka N2BHS-C, under the alpha-numeric identification system used by the National Park Service to track the genetic lineage of the herd).
The alliance, which holds an an annual horse naming auction to help support management of the animals, initially reported that this was the only new addition expected this year to the 114-horse herd because of the contraceptives administered to keep the wild animals from overpopulating the narrow, sandy barrier island. But late yesterday, the alliance emailed that a second foal had been spotted by a park staffer, this one born to a mare named Queen Latifah (aka N9BFT). No photos yet of it. There were five foals last year, by comparison.
For those thinking of seeing and photographing the new ponies, park rangers remind visitors to keep their distance so the horses remain wild. Anyone who moves closer than 10 feet towards the horses could be fined under a new enforcement policy.