Assateague Lifeguard Gets Kicked in Head by Wild Horse
One Assateague Island lifeguard was doing neither of those. In fact, he was trying to get the horses away from a group of beachgoers’ belongings. While trying to scare one of wild horses away, it appears he made it quite angry.
The lifeguard was flapping his flippers around the horse. While doing so, the lifeguard was kicked in the body twice, and then kicked in the head. The act was caught on tape by a nearby beach guest, which later went viral on the popular website, Ebaumsworld.
This video is proof these horses on Assateague are indeed wild. According to the National Park Service, petting or feeding the wild horses may seem like a harmless and fun thing to do, but the consequences can be terrible. For your safety, and the safety of the horses, NPS encourages visitors to obey park regulations and do not approach, touch or feed the Assateague horses.
NPS warns that horses can bite and kick in response to crowding or competition for food. Visitors that get too close can be knocked down and stepped on if horses spook or react suddenly.
A statement released from Assateague Island National Seashore regarding the incident reads:
The human/horse interaction that was captured on camera on Aug. 29, 2015 is a stark reminder of the power and unpredictability of wild horses. These types of interactions can happen in an instant, even to National Park Service personnel who have been trained to move horses from the public beach. We want to remind people to:
- Help prevent this scenario from happening in the first place. Do not make food or water available to the horses.
- When at all possible, keep food safely stored in a vehicle. If food must be brought to the beach, store it in a sturdy zippered bag or in a cooler that is secured shut with a strap.
- Give the horses their space. Move a “bus length” away when a horse approaches. Do not try to save your belongings. Wait until the horse is out of the area.
- Visitors should be particularly mindful of their position if there is more than one horse around. Pinned ears and sudden movements indicate agitation that can lead to kicking and biting.
Unfortunately, incidents like this happen every year. The lifeguard in the video suffered minor abrasions, but was otherwise unhurt. Regardless of your comfort level around horses, visitors to Assateague must remain aware of their surroundings at all times. The wild horses are powerful, unpredictable animals.
Dangers of Petting and Feeding
- Horses become unafraid of humans – this is not the same as being “tame.”
- Horses begin approaching cars and visitors, becoming more aggressive over time; your actions today can endanger future visitors
- Horses are attracted to roads, increasing the risk of being injured or killed by a vehicle
- Citations may be issued for feeding or petting horses or any other wildlife
Assateague Wild Ponies Must Stay Wild