The Ocracoke ponies are some of the island's most beloved residents. The National Park Service has cared for the herd since the early 1960s. But taking care of the Ocracoke herd takes both time and money. An unexpected illness to just one of the ponies can cost hundreds of dollars in veterinarian fees. The fences in the pasture, hay, grain and customary care from the veterinarian and blacksmith are funded in large part by donations from the donation box at the viewing platform.
You can help the Ocracoke ponies by adopting the pony of your choice through the Adopt a Pony program. Your $27 donation is used exclusively to help defray the costs of veterinary care, feed and hay, and the repair of the pony pasture and facilities. In return, you receive a photo and certificate of adoption with the pony's name, age, and description in a presentation folder.
To adopt a pony, mail the completed "Adopt-A-Pony" form (pdf) and a $27 check or money order (made out to National Park Service) to: Attn: Adopt-A-Pony, National Park Service, Ocracoke Ranger Station, P.O. Box 340, Ocracoke, NC 27960. Or you can save $2.00 and stop at the Ocracoke Visitor Center between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily and adopt a pony in person.
Did You Know?
When the Home sank on Diamond Shoals off of Cape Hatteras in 1837, there were only two life jackets for all 130 people on board. Ninety people died. Congress passed the Steamboat Act the next year, requiring all vessels to carry one life jacket per passenger.