The Ocracoke pony herd has a new member. Paloma was born Monday morning to Spirit, who is a full-blooded Ocracoke pony.
The ponies on the island date back to the 16th or 17th century, according to the National Park Service. Legend has it the "Banker" horses were left by shipwrecked explorers.
In 1959, the free-roaming animals were permanently penned to prevent over-grazing and to keep them safe from traffic after the highway was built on Ocracoke in 1957. The National Park Service has taken care of the pony herd since the early 1960's.
Children from the Ocracoke School named Paloma, which means "dove" in Spanish. Paloma makes the 19th member of the herd.