COROLLA, N.C. — The Corolla Wild Horse Fund posted a sad update Monday - Danny, a one-year-old colt, died after choking on an apple which blocked his esophagus for days.
Officials were using his case as a reminder to guests: do not feed, touch, or interact with Corolla's wild horses.
"When we say that apples and carrots KILL wild horses, we are not kidding," wrote the fund. "We are not being overly dramatic. We are not using scare tactics. Apples and carrots KILL wild horses."
The Fund is presenting this case as "completely preventable," and wrote "it was absolute hell for Danny to suffer through."
A local saw the horse in distress Friday, and called officials to let them know. The Fund's release said he had likely had his throat blocked for days when they found him.
A veterinarian gave Danny sedatives to relax his throat, which passed the apple, but the release said it had already caused an infection - and possibly, bleeding to his lungs.
Officials think his esophagus was ruptured, and he could have sustained a head injury from thrashing as he choked.
After receiving antibiotics and a stomach flush, Danny died around 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"If this is hard for you to read, we can promise you it was much harder to witness in person," wrote the Corolla Wild Horse Fund in its post. "Danny was just a baby."
The post recommended cleaning up your trash and food waste after a day on the beach, and avoiding contact with the wild horses, to prevent any other accidents of this kind.
If you see a horse in distress, call 911 to let authorities know.