COROLLA WILD HORSES
(Senate - April 19, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 60 (Tuesday, April 19, 2016)]
[Page S2142]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                          COROLLA WILD HORSES

  Mr. SULLIVAN. Madam President, I come to the floor to talk about 
something that is very important to many of us in North Carolina and to 
the people who come to the North Carolina coast to enjoy our beautiful 
beaches and a group of wild horses at Corolla.
  They are called the Corolla wild horses. They are a piece of American 
heritage. They have been there since ships have been wrecked in what we 
call the graveyard of the Atlantic. These horses of Spanish origin 
ended up finding their way to shore, and they set up a habitat on the 
East Coast that is actually an attraction to tourists and something 
that brings a smile to your face when you are out on the water and you 
see them coming to the shore. They have been there for almost 400 
years, and they are roaming over about 7,500 acres of land right now.
  The problem we have, though, is that with development over time their 
habitat has shrunk. As a result of that, we only have about 80 horses 
out in Corolla now. To have a healthy population, we have to figure out 
a way to provide them with genetic diversity or they are going to 
become extinct in a very brief period of time. The entire herd is in 
grave danger as a result.
  The solution to the problem is to try to figure out a way to produce 
genetic diversity, which is why the senior Senator from North Carolina, 
Mr. Burr, has offered an amendment that I hope we can get support for.
  The horses roam mostly on private land, but there are some public 
lands they roam freely on that are managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife. 
The county and private philanthropic organizations are managing the 
horses. No taxpayer dollars are being used to manage these horse 
populations, but they do need some help and relief from the amendment 
Senator Burr has put forward.
  To give an idea of what we are dealing with, I want to tell a story 
of a typical example of what is happening in Corolla. This is a 
heartbreaking story. It was shared with me by Karen McCalpin, the 
executive director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, who manages the 
horses now with no taxpayer dollars:

       When Cordero was first seen, the tides were too high to 
     bring a trailer up the beach so we had to wait until the next 
     day at low tide to bring panels and a trailer. We looked for 
     him every day for 4 days after that. We went through wooded 
     areas and marsh with no success. We finally found his harem 
     on July 20, 2013. It was a difficult capture and the poor 
     thing was trying to run to keep up with his mother. We had to 
     capture her as well. Due to his young age and poor condition, 
     he needed his mother's milk as well as her company to help 
     relieve some of the stress of captivity. Unfortunately, that 
     became an exercise in futility.

  Cordero, because of his health problems, had to be euthanized.
  We want a solution to this problem. It is a great solution that only 
requires a minimum amount of influence from us to get this done--
largely done by private and local entities. What we need to do is put 
an amendment forward that requires the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 
the State of North Carolina, and Currituck County--the State of North 
Carolina and Currituck County want to do this--working with the Corolla 
Wild Horse Fund to establish a management plan that would allow for the 
transfer of horses from a related herd located at Shackleford Banks. 
This would allow the herd size to grow and will provide more genetic 
diversity to prevent situations that poor Cordero experienced.
  Our amendment asks for no money. The amendment is supported by the 
Humane Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, and 
other key animal welfare organizations.
  Contrary to what some people have said who may oppose this amendment, 
it doesn't change the mission of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services. It 
doesn't require any taxpayer dollars. All it simply does is allow local 
government to solve this problem.
  I hope that later today or tomorrow, when we can get on these 
amendments, we can convince our Members that this is a very important 
asset not only for North Carolina but for the Nation, and a simple 
gesture on our part can solve a very difficult problem on the part of 
the Corolla wild horses.
  Thank you, Madam President.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.

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