South Carolina

‘Rest free and easy, Cali.’ Outer Banks horse terrorized by a stallion has died.

An Outer Banks mare that was taken in from the wild after she stood without moving for over 24 hours has died, supporters with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund said Tuesday.

The decision “to humanely end her suffering” followed an ultrasound and X-rays that revealed Cali’s shoulder was broken and dislocated, according to a Facebook post by fund officials on Tuesday morning.

“Our vet consulted with surgeons at NC State, but they advised that there has never been a case of a successful surgery for an injury like Cali’s,” fund officials said in the post. “The bone in that area will not hold screws, and even if they were able to repair the break during surgery the chances of it remaining stable during recovery were slim to none.”

Officials with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund on North Carolina’s Outer Banks decided to rescue the dehydrated wild female horse after the mare stood in place for 24 hours, risking death, after being chased by a stallion, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

In their followup post on Facebook Tuesday morning, fund officials called Cali’s death “a devastating loss for the herd, for all of you who were rooting for her recovery, and for those of us who had been taking care of Cali over the past few days.

“But at least she didn’t suffer alone in the wild, and she was safe and comfortable for the last week of her life.”

Cali was buried on the fund’s farm, “in a sunny spot in the woods,” beside the burial plot of another horse, Roamer.

Fund officials thanked everyone who expressed their support for the horse. People donated over $5,000 toward her care.

“Cali knew she was loved — we told her there were so many people out there wishing her the best, and all of that good energy definitely enriched her life while she was with us,” according to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund post. “Rest free and easy, sweet Cali.”

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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