The Assateague Island community and fans of its wild ponies are mourning the loss of a chestnut mare, struck and killed by a park vehicle on the island.
The National Park Service (NPS) says on Sunday morning, the pony N2BHS-ALQ, known as Connie’s Girl, “was standing in the road on curve on Bayberry drive in the predawn hours, before first light when the park vehicle struck the hind quarter of the horse.”
Connie’s Girl was 17 months old, born to the mare known as Ms. Macky. The small group of ponies or “band” that she traveled with spent time in the developed area and campgrounds of Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park, according to NPS. The horses roam freely throughout the island, and this is the 34th to be hit and killed by a vehicle since 1982.
“As always, the loss of one of our horses saddens park staff,” NPS writes in a Facebook post reporting the death.
The park employee wasn’t injured and the incident is under investigation, NPS says. The agency reminds everyone to be alert when driving on Assateague, especially at night.
-Meg Walburn Viviano