Billboard campaign aims to protect wild horses
There’s a new billboard greeting visitors heading into the Outer Banks, one with the giant block words: “Apples and Carrots Kill Wild Horses!”
The billboard message recently erected along US 158 is part of a new initiative of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which manages a herd of about 100 wild horses on the northern beaches in Currituck County.
The aim of the “No Feed, No Approach” campaign is to educate tourists and locals alike about the dangers of human interaction with the wild herd.
The billboard, donated by Karen and Mac Quidley, sits on their private property. 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, donated the design of the board.
Fund officials say the strong message is intended to make the public aware wild horses cannot eat any food that is not from their natural habitat of beach grasses. Other foods can cause painful colic and may result in death, the fund said in a news release.
The other half of the summertime messaging is the “no approach” campaign. Currituck laws require people to stay at least 50 feet from wild horses, but many disregard the rules.
Fund officials say people are in danger if stallions suddenly begin fighting, or the herd begins running.
In addition to the billboard, many Duck and Corolla merchants are donating time on their marquees this summer to promote the wild-horse educational messaging. Property owners in the 4×4 area are also posting yard signs to reinforce the no feed/no approach messaging.
The signs are available at CWHF’s museum gift shop in Corolla.