The Hoofprints Guide to the Wild Horses of Ocracoke

The Hoofprints Guide to the Wild Horses of Ocracoke

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Wild horses, once vital to the Outer Banks livestock industry, remained on Ocracoke after forces of “progress” had obliterated them elsewhere. Pony pennings lasted until the 1950s; the world’s only mounted Boy Scout troop, until the 1960s. Reduced to a roadside attraction, the herd nearly died out. Recovery has been slow, and the prognosis is uncertain. Wild horses have lived on the Atlantic coast for hundreds of years. Now confined to a few barrier islands in four states, they attract millions of visitors even as they generate speculation, concern, and spirited debate.