The east coast of Canada was ravaged by Hurricane Fiona Sept. 23-25 as a powerful post-tropical cyclone. Parts of the maritime provinces were devastated by high winds and flooding, leaving at least one woman dead as well as thousands experiencing property damage, power outages, and even homes swept out to sea.

In the days leading up to Fiona there was concern about the fate of the famous Sable Island wild horses should the hurricane strike the tiny isle off the coast of Nova Scotia. The herd is thought to be around 500 animals. The Sable Island National Park Reserve is managed by Parks Canada.

“Over the last two centuries, the horses of Sable Island have adapted remarkably well to their environment. During inclement weather the horses act instinctively and seek shelter in groups in the lee of the dunes for protection,” Parks Canada representative Jennifer Nicholson told Global News.

Thankfully, Nicholson’s words proved true. A post on the Sable Island Institute’s Facebook page broke the good news after receiving a call from a staff member who had weathered the storm on the island. “[The] horses had emerged from sheltered areas and were grazing, grooming, and engaged in their usual activities. The horses are pretty used to storms, they find shelter from the wind and blowing sand in the lee of dunes ‒ there are plenty of hollows and high dune slopes in inland areas, and depending on the wind direction, the horses also huddle on the beach at the base of the dunes.”

An official also commented on the post that despite the low altitude of Sable Island, due to its location the large waves that hit land in other areas were unable to form there.

The fact that the wild horse herd hunkered down and survived the storm is very welcome news indeed.