Hazel, ‘honorary grandmother’ of Outer Banks wild horses, passes away

Hazel. [Courtesy Corolla Wild Horse Fund]

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund reported some some sad news this weekend. Hazel, one of the oldest mares on the beach, has passed away. Hazel was well into her 20s, perhaps closer to 30.

More from the Corolla Wild Horse Fund:

She was a part of Amadeo’s harem for many years, then once Amadeo was rescued she lived with Junior, Anne Bonny, and June, and then over the last couple years she could be found with other harems in Swan Beach that had foals. She seemed to enjoy her role as honorary grandmother to the foals, and could be seen babysitting while their moms grazed and rested. We have identified several offspring and relatives of Hazel’s, and expect to find more as we continue to collect DNA samples from the herd.

Hazel lived and died as every wild horse should – free, and on her own terms. We will miss seeing her on the beach but take comfort in knowing she lived a great life and left a huge mark on the herd. She was laid to rest near Penny’s Hill, where she spent all of her 20+ years. Rest easy, Hazel.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.