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117 horses make up Shackleford Banks herd

117 horses make up Shackleford Banks herd
117 horses make up Shackleford Banks herd(C. Wasley NPS)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 7:44 PM EST
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HARKERS ISLAND, N.C. (WITN) -The 2020 annual findings report on the Shackleford Banks horses has been released and shows there were 117 horses on Shackleford Banks at the end of 2020.

The report by the Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses says the herd is 62% female and 38% male. Of the horses over 23 years of age, there are 2 males and 8 females.

The oldest living horses on the island are two 27- year old mares.

Herd mortality was 5% with 6 deaths. Mortality still averages 6%.

Since 1999, the average lifespan of horses on Shackleford Banks has been approximately 11 years.

Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses emphasize that the most important factor in protecting the wild horses is public education. As a result, they have increased efforts to inform the public how best to watch the horses without interacting with them or interrupting their natural behavior.

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