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Park Service releases year's final Assateague horse tally

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Posted at 1:21 PM, Nov 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-10 13:21:18-05

BERLIN, Md. (WMAR) — The National Park Service has released the year's last population census of wild horses in Assateague Island.

In total there are 75 horses in the herd; 22 stallions and 53 mares.

A five-month-old filly died shortly after being observed on October 29 with neurological symptoms.

An animal autopsy found the horse died of a condition that causes intestinal blockage.

The census is completed six times per year, in February, March, May, July, September, and November.

Throughout the year, the horses roam free along 27-miles of the barrier island, sometimes making it hard to find them all.

The horses are mapped, counted, and identified, by different characteristics.

Those horses who aren't seen over multiple census studies, are presumed dead according to the National Park Serivce.

The census began in 1994, as part of a long term fertility control program.