Assateague Island is celebrating the arrival of a new baby.
The National Park Service in Berlin, Maryland, has announced the birth of a new foal on Assateague Island. On Friday, June 21, 2019, a mare on the island named Ms. Macky gave birth to a baby boy. The new colt will be known as N2BHS-ALR, an individual Kieper number given to all horses in order to keep track of their lineage. The park service is urging visitors to give the new mom and her baby space.
The Assateague Island horses have lived on the island since the 17th century, likely brought by early settlers. The wild horses were made famous by the Misty of Chincoteague novels by Marguerite Henry and visitors from all over the world visit the island to see the wild ponies. In February of this year, the park service conducted its annual census and found a total of 76 horses living on the Maryland side of the island.
The new colt is a bay pinto, just like his mom. Most of the foals born on the island are born in late spring and early summer. N2BHS-ALR is part of a band that spends most of their time in developed areas of the island, making it easier for visitors to catch a glimpse of the new baby. Mares, like all new mothers, are very protective of their babies, so the park service is recommending visitors stay a minimum of 40 feet away at all times.
Assateague Island is open year-round and tends to be very busy in the summer. Entrance fees are $20 per car, plus an additional $15 for beach parking. Be sure to bring bug spray and check the NPS website for closures before you visit.
Have you been to Assateague Island? Where are the best places to see the horses?