On June 28, 2018, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) announced the kick off to their “No Feed, No Approach” educational initiative to help educate tourist and locals alike about the dangers of human interaction with the wild herd.
A 10’ x 60’ billboard message has been erected in Coinjock, North Carolina (Currituck County) stating “Admire Don’t Feed! Apples and Carrots Kill Wild Horses.” The strong message is intended to make the public aware that wild horses cannot eat any food that is not from their natural habitat of beach grasses.
The public is unaware that their snacks are harmful and often cause painful colic and may result in a horse’s death. The educational campaign is hoped to prevent future illnesses and deaths.
The billboard was kindly donated, for an indefinite amount of time, by Karen and Mac Quidley, owners of the structure that is on their private land. Payment of the vinyl wrap was provided by CWHF volunteer Kelly Wilkes and its installation was donated by Robert and Carol Givens of RO Givens Signs. Terry Douglas, a horse-loving graphic artist from Richmond, Virginia, graciously donated the design of the board.
There are more educational components of the campaign to see and hear this season. East Carolina Radio and MAX Radio of the Carolinas will run public service announcements expanding on the billboard message about not approaching or feeding the wild horses and the harm that both can bring.
Many Duck NC and Corolla NC retail merchants are donating time on their marquees this summer to promote the wild horse educational messaging. Property owners in the 4×4 area are posting yard signs to reinforce the no feed/no approach messaging. These signs are available at CWHF’s museum gift shop in Corolla.
All locals, community, and business organizations, restaurants, and merchants are invited to join in spreading this educational initiative.
“The community support has been overwhelming and heartwarming, and we believe through stepped up efforts to educate the public, tourists and wild horses will have a safer summer season.” — Corolla Wild Horse Fund
The wild horses along the North Carolina coast have lived among the marshes, dunes, and beaches for hundreds of years. According to local horse expert and author of equine books, Donna Campbell Smith:
“With DNA testing, it has been proven the wild horses that roam the Outer Banks are descendants of the Spanish Mustangs brought to the New World by explorers in the 1500s.”