Horse Harassment on Assateague - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Horse Harassment on Assateague

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

BERLIN, Md.- People on Delmarva think tourists are getting a little too close to Assateague's wild horses.

Not only is Assateague known for its beautiful beaches, but it is also known for its horses.

Ninety wild horses roam free throughout the island, grazing up and down the shoreline.

People who frequent the national park said that they have seen visitors getting too close for comfort with these wild animals.

"I fear for the people because they are wild animals. And when the people are too close and they don't know the horses' behavior, they don't know the horses' background or the situation that's occurring, they get too close and they're in the middle... it's dangerous," said Ferrell Beachler of Delmar.

People said that they have seen people petting these animals, feeding them junk food and even putting their children on top of them.

"I've have friends tell me that they've actually seen people put their toddler on a wild animal. And I have warned people. I feel like anyone who's local that comes down here a good bit I kind of help a long and say, 'Have you been here before and understand that you're close enough that he might bite your child?'" said Ann Richardson of Salisbury.

Park rangers stressed that if you don't know the proper distance to maintain between you and the horses, they recommend a school bus length between.

"The problem with habituated animals is that while they may allow people to approach closely they are still wild which means they are unpredictable," said Kelly Taylor from the National Park Service. 

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