BERLIN, Md. (AP) — National Park Service officials say a wild horse on Assateague Island was shot and killed by a deer hunter.

The 28-year-old mare was found dead by a hunter on Saturday and reported to park rangers the following day.

Trish Kicklighter, superintendent of Assateague Island National Seashore, says she’s saddened by the incident and hopes the shooting was accidental.

Chief Ranger Ted Morlock says rangers are pursuing several good leads. He says failure to report the shooting violates park service regulations.

There are more than 300 wild ponies on Assateague, a barrier island that straddles the Maryland-Virginia line. Every summer on the Virginia side of the island, the ponies are rounded up and swim across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague, where foals are auctioned off.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (4)
  1. Deb says:

    Is hunting, deer or anything, legal on Assateague?

  2. mike says:

    Yes with a permit to control over population each area is assigned, some areas are restricted. Go to the parks website for more information if needed.

  3. Ronald G Miner Jr says:

    How the hell do they know it was a deer hunter? It could have been someone purposely shooting the ponies

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