Joaquin

Joaquin, the Corolla wild horse, had to be put down after getting tangled in barbed wire.

COROLLA, N.C.

A wild horse was put down after getting caught in barbed wire stretched across parts of a wildlife refuge.

Joaquin, a well-known member of the Corolla wild horse herd, was found Thursday entangled in the barbed wire, according to a post on the Corolla Wild Horse Fund Facebook page. A veterinarian determined his leg was beyond repair and he had to be euthanized.

“We have feared this scenario since the barbed wire was installed several years ago,” said herd manager Meg Puckett on the post.

Horse officials plan to meet with refuge officials in hopes of replacing barbed wire with a safer, but still effective fencing.

“He was just four years old,” Puckett said. “A lovely young Banker with a bright future as a harem stallion. His loss is a major blow to the herd and will have an impact for generations to come.”

Officials with the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge fenced off grassy areas about 10 years ago with barbed wire to keep feral hogs, deer and wild horses from grazing areas used by waterfowl. At one point, the fenced area was about 140 acres. The herd manage at the time said the strategy was effective and grasses within the fenced areas were more lush.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund tried to get the refuge to use fencing other than barbed wire when it was first proposed.

Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272, jeff.hampton@pilotonline.com

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