Tuesday, May 18, 2010
We are fast approaching Memorial Day. At a vacation destination like the Outer Banks, Memorial Day weekend signals the kick off of what is known as high season. It is the return of business to those who depend on visitors for the bulk of their income. It is also the return of thousands of people driving on the north beach. The majority of those people act responsibly but each season the ones who do not, leave a lasting impression.
On May 24, 2009, the day before Memorial Day, a proud and beautiful stallion had to be euthanized after being hit by a vehicle and left to stand for hours with a leg so badly broken that only his skin was holding it on. I will never forget that sight. I will never forget the euthanization process or how hard Spec fought the drugs. I have also not forgotten that no one has been held accountable for their actions.
There is someone who knows. In fact, there are probably a few people who know who was responsible. Do they know or care that Spec suffered terribly and needlessly because that someone was too cowardly to call the Sheriff’s department and report an injured horse? Have they ever imagined what it must have been like for this horse to drag himself almost a mile through the sand and over a high dune in an attempt to get back to his home area?
Whether you drive the north beach daily or you are visiting, I beg you to remember that wherever you go, you are driving where wild horses live. They are on the beach and on the sand roads behind the dunes day and night. They are hard to see in the dark and they are unpredictable.
Please, obey the law. Drive the speed limit. Don’t drive drunk. Take responsibility for your actions and those who are with you. Our herd is already too small and critically endangered. They have managed to survive nearly 500 years of hurricanes, nor’easters, droughts, and floods. However, they are no match for a speeding vehicle with an impaired driver at the wheel.