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Assateague Island Welcomes New Foal

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Two ponies horsing around on Assateague Island.
Two ponies horsing around on Assateague Island.

There's a new addition to Assateague Island's wild pony heard. The sorrel or brown-colored foal was born in a remote location on the island in late May, according to park rangers, and is the first new addition to the 2013 pony herd.

Its name, N9BFQ-GL, may seem a bit robotic, but it's the system the National Park Service has used since the 1970s to track the lineage and ancestry of the wild horses on the island.

And even though you might have a hard time seeing that first foal, because its band or family is pretty reclusive, this season's second new foal could be along any day, birthed by an older mare who spends most of her time near the state park. This will be her 12th foal.

The mare, known as Carol's Girl, has been unresponsive to the birth control vaccine that is routinely administered to the females every few years to help control the herd's population.

The two foals will bring the total number of wild horses on the Maryland side of Assateague Island to 116.


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