Warm weather lures wild horses onto beach, into path of cars

COROLLA, N.C. (AP) — A group that manages herds of wild horses in coastal North Carolina is warning drivers to watch out for the animals taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather by sleeping on the sand at night.

Temperatures in the 60s and 70s across the Carolinas have the wild horses acting “more like it’s June, not January,” the Corolla Wild Horse Fund said in a message posted to social media on Sunday. The pleasant weather has coaxed the animals out of the islands' forests where they usually shelter from cold winter winds — and into the path of recreational vehicles, The News & Observer reported.

Daniel T. Myers III was driving on Corova Beach over the weekend when he spotted the horses in the dark. He told McClatchy News Group that the animals are very hard to see, and warned others to keep a look out.

“This time of year, it is rare," he said. "They’re out there enjoying the beach like everyone, but sleeping.”

Crashes are one of the leading causes of death among the Outer Banks herds, the newspaper said. This summer, one wild horse was killed and another was injured in two separate crashes.