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Horse Sense and Survival Ranger Programs on Shackleford Banks

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Date: June 8, 2007
Contact: Wouter Ketel, (252) 728-2250 Ext. 3005

Harkers Island, NC.   Cape Lookout National Seashore Acting Superintendent Connie Backlund announces four upcoming ranger-led trips to watch wild horses on Shackleford Banks.


Horse social behavior including stallion fights, mare-foal communication, “alpha” mare leadership, two-stallion harem dynamics and the most subtle communications between horses will be investigated.  Home ranges and where the horses find water will be explored.  Hands-off horse management practices and data gathering will be discussed.  The daily lives of the horses create a different experience every day for onlookers, so each trip is unique.


The horses roam wild on the island, so be prepared to walk a few miles in sand and over hills to find them.  This trip is ideally suited for moderately mobile individuals over the age of eight.  Participants carry their own drinks and lunch. 


The approximately six hour tours will meet on June 20, July 10, September 29 and October 7.  Trips leave by commercial passenger ferry from four different sites on Beaufort or HarkersIsland.  Ferry fees will be collected by the ferry service and range from $10 – 15 for adults with discounts for young people.  There is no charge for the island tour.  A ranger will meet the group at the ferry terminal and accompany the group for the day’s activities.


A reservation is required with Cape Lookout National Seashore.  A waiting list is kept for these popular trips; a limited number of spaces are available. 


Contact the park for a trip brochure, driving directions, a park site bulletin with a map, and answers to your questions:  (252) 728-2250 ext. 3002 and calo_information@nps.gov

Did You Know?

Cape Lookout Proposed Development_copyright Sam Willis

In the early 1900s, development plans were proposed for Cape Lookout. The layout had more than 3000 lots and included a railroad connecting Beaufort to the Cape Lookout Coast Guard Station. Photo courtesy of Samuel Lee Willis.