Campaigners working to protect the last remaining herd of wild Spanish mustangs in Northern Carolina, US, have urged motorists to take more care after a mare was killed in a collision with a vehicle

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund says the mare died after she was struck by a four-wheel drive vehicle on Saturday night (9 June).

In a statement, the campaign group said it wanted to inform people of the accident and remind everyone to be mindful as they drive on the beaches of the Outer Banks area. It added that the mare’s mate stayed with her body after the accident.

“She died instantly and her stallion stayed over her body all night even after she was covered with a tarp,” the statement read. “There are no words to describe the heartbreak and frustration we are feeling…What a senseless loss.”

The fund urged motorists to take greater care when driving through the area, known to be frequented by the wild horse.

“Please, please, please pay attention when you are driving on the beach at night,” the statement read.

“Slow down and expect that a horse could be on the beach or running over the dunes at any given moment. While the speed limit changes based on the presence and proximity of people on the beach, we simply ask that drivers be aware that lower speeds are safer for everyone.”

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund works to protect, conserve, and responsibly manage the herd of wild colonial Spanish mustangs, which live on the northernmost Currituck Outer Banks, an area of expansive beaches and sand dunes, and to promote the continued preservation of the land as a permanent sanctuary for horses.

The not-for-profit organisation was established following an 11-year period from 1985 to 1996 when more than 20 horses were killed on the road between Duck and Corolla.

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Previously, the 17-mile stretch of road had been unpaved and was rarely used by motorists. But in 1985, paving the road opened the area to tourism and more contact between horses and vehicles.

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