Merlin a magician at survival

Well, it is more instinct than magic. A telling story all the same. —Editor.

Merlin, a wild horse, survived Hurricane Florence in quarantine on lands owned by the National Park Service. Photo courtesy of Kathy Knight/Foundation for Shackleford Horses.
Merlin, a wild horse, survived Hurricane Florence in quarantine on lands owned by the National Park Service. Photo courtesy of Kathy Knight/Foundation for Shackleford Horses.

Outer Banks horse left alone in pasture may have had to swim to survive hurricane

Cross-posted from the Charlotte Observer

Written by Mark Price

A mystery has emerged in the telling of how the Outer Banks’ wild horses survived Hurricane Florence.

Instincts dating back five centuries compel the feral mustangs to either huddle on high ground — butts to the wind — or seek refuge in the maritime forest during storms, say experts.

But news has come of a Shackleford Banks horse named Merlin who was fenced in an “inundated” quarantine site during the storm, according the Foundation for Shackleford Horses.

“Given the condition of the site, Merlin was likely in deep water during part of the storm. His water trough was full of salt water,” she said, noting two volunteers hiked an hour through mud and debris to find him.

“Candidly, (we) anticipated they would be much more likely to find Merlin’s body than Merlin himself. But despite the fact that the barn was destroyed and much of the fencing was covered with debris and even laying down in some areas, there was Merlin, prick-eared, bright-eyed, and happy to greet them.”

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