Assateague Wild Ponies Must Stay Wild - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Assateague Wild Ponies Must Stay Wild

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BERLIN, Md.- Park rangers at Assateague Island National Seashore are urging beach visitors to keep their distance from wild ponies.

This summer there have been multiple cases of 'plastic bags, zipblock bags, and tin foil,' showing up in horse feces around the beaches.

Assateague Island Science Communicator, Kelly Taylor, says feeding these horses can be extremely dangerous.

"They're not designed to digest everything, they're designed to digest grass, they're herbivores but here we are treating them like omnivores and letting them eat everything,"Taylor said.

Not only is feeding these wild horses extremely dangerous to both the animals and the guests, petting these horses can be just as harmful.

Before you go over the bridge to Assateague Island there is a visitors center on the right side of the road. Park rangers in the building will answer all your questions about the island and warn you of some dangers you may come across with the horses.

Tiffany Dornheim stopped at the visitor's center before coming to the island for the first time and she said because of her stop there, she and her son will keep her distance from the horses.

"You know, I'm really cautious, he's only five years old, I don't want him to get too close since they are wild horses," Dornheim said.

There are multiple signs posted around the island warning guests to not touch or feed the horses, however, some guests like Chris Giano don't see these horses as a threat.

"They look like they're just chilling, you know not to crazy, not to wild, just wild enough," Giano said.

Although Giano doesn't feel threatened by these animals, he says he would never think of feeding the horses.

Beach guests seen feeding or petting the horses will face penalties such as citations and fines.

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