A mother and her foal were hit by a car in early July.

A hit-and-run accident has caused the death of a wild horse on Assateague Island. On July 6, 2021, park employees found the body of a horse named “Moonshadow” (N2BHS-CKP) near the Oceanside Campground at Assateague Island National Seashore.

Park officials believe the 4-year-old mare was involved in a low-impact accident and died sometime later from her injuries. Moonshadow was with her foal and the baby was also injured in the accident.

The National Park Service in Maryland monitors the wild horses and tabulates their numbers six times a year. As of March 2021, there was a total of 78 horses, with nine mares expecting. Moonshadow’s foal, N2BHS-CKP, was also injured in the accident and remains with her mother’s band. The baby shows signs of lameness but seems to be improving. Park officials will continue to keep an eye on her.

Late spring and early summer are usually when mares give birth, and with summer being the busiest time on the island, visitors can be tempted to get too close to mothers and babies. Park officials ask that people stay at least 40 feet from the horses at all times. Visitors should also be vigilant and pay close attention when driving through the park. All accidents involving wildlife need to be reported to park rangers.

Like many parks and recreation areas, the Assateague Island National Seashore closed at the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. The park reopened its campgrounds three months later and continues to be a popular destination for tourists visiting the Eastern Shore.

For more information about visiting the park and reserving campgrounds, go to NPS.gov.