Visiting the wild ponies on Assateague Island

Assateague Island is 37-mile long barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. Legend has it that the wild ponies on Assateague are survivors of a Spanish shipwreck. Today there are two herds of wild ponies on Assateague Island, each with about 150 ponies. The Southern herd in Virginia is contained in a large fenced area that separates them from tourists. To control the population, the ponies are annually rounded up to swim across to Chincoteague Island where many of the foals are auctioned off. The Northern herd in Maryland is not fenced in and is free to roam the park, campsites and parking lots! They are not afraid of people and several walked very close to us. This population is controlled by contraceptives. 

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