Why did the wild ponies cross the bridge? To get to the other side, and get a police escort back home, of course.
At least that can be the only logical explanation as to why the stallion known as Adrianna’s Happy Camper and his accomplice, the yearling filly Starlight, went on the lam from their home on Assateague Island and crossed the Verrazano bridge to the mainland last week.
Assateague Island is a 37-mile island off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland and is managed by the National Park Service as Assateague Island National Seashore.
All jokes aside, the two wild horses’ adventure was caused by tourists crowding them on the island, probably to take selfies. “These two wild horses were in an already excited and agitated state and subsequently became blocked by visitors and vehicles,” a release from the National Park Service reads. “With their path of retreat towards the island cut off, the horses fled west over the bridge to the mainland.”
According to officials, a witness told park staff that the horses were agitated at the base of the east side of the bridge and fled over it when vehicles and visitors blocked their path east. The entire causeway east of the bridge is a “No Stopping, No Parking” zone.
“This incident is a very unusual and very uncommon occurrence,” the National Park Service release reads. “For reasons not entirely known, wild horses have been known to cross the bridge during one prior occasion decades ago. While this incident is concerning, the circumstances that led to these wild horses’ flight across the bridge yesterday is more serious. The crowding of these animals by visitors and vehicles thereby blocking their movements and path of retreat directly led to this incident.”
Fortunately, neither horse was injured during their escapade. A local farmer helped the park officials round up the two equines, who were then loaded onto a trailer for the first time in their lives and safely returned home. They apparently loaded without issue, which makes one wonder if they just wanted to get off the mainland and away from the people who caused their flight in the first place.
The statement from park officials also serve to remind visitors that “wild horses that learn to come up to the road to beg for food are often hit and killed by cars. Visitors are kicked, bitten, and knocked down every year as a direct result of getting too close to the wild horses. Treating wild horses like tame animals takes away the wildness that makes them so special. Each visitor to the island must use common sense when observing any wildlife, including horses. Treat the horses with respect – move back, give them their space, and stay safe.”