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Remembering Roamer: Popular Corolla stallion euthanized

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Pictured is the popular Corolla wild horse Roamer, who passed away in mid-December after it was discovered the stallion had a tear in his gastrointestinal tract that led to sepsis.

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By Chris Day
Multimedia Editor

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

COROLLA — A popular Corolla wild horse named for his sense of adventure has died.

Roamer, a 15-year-old stallion, died in mid-December, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund announced Monday via Facebook.

“Roamer was showing signs of colic and we immediately called our vet,” the Facebook post states. “She and our staff did everything in their power to save Roamer, but he had a tear in his GI tract that led to sepsis. It was less than 24 hours after he first showed signs of colic that we made the difficult decision to let him go.”

Roamer fell ill on Wednesday, Dec. 12, and died within 24 hours.

“This has been absolutely devastating for all of us, and it’s a great loss for the Corolla herd as well,” the Facebook post states. “However, Roamer leaves behind his offspring on the beach and his legacy as an ambassador for his breed. We take comfort in knowing he will live on in those ways, but we are still grieving and will be for a long time.”

Meg Puckett, herd manager for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, said Tuesday that Roamer had been euthanized to end his pain.

“We didn’t want him to suffer,” she said. “It was sad.”

Colic is common among horses, Puckett said, who added, “Sometimes it can be fatal.”

Colic is associated with a range of gastrointestinal disorders, such as an impacted bowel, which is what is believed to have troubled Roamer, she said.

Horses’ bodies also don’t have the ability to regurgitate, so in some cases that can make it difficult for them to pass whatever may be ailing their stomachs, Puckett explained.

“If it doesn’t pass that can cause problems,” she said.

Roamer got his name for his habit of wandering out of the northern Currituck Outer Banks beach area that the wild horse herd naturally inhabits, Puckett said. He also liked to mix it up with the tourists waiting with their cameras.

“He was often the first horse to be photographed,” she said, adding Roamer was always found at the southern end of the beach, away from the other horses that weren’t as accessible to tourists. “He was just very visible. There are a lot of pictures of him.”

Roamer was a quiet and gentle horse who was good with people, Puckett said.

After Roamer wandered from the beach in 2016, he was captured and relocated to the horse fund’s farm in Grandy, where he lived his remaining days. His reputation as an adventurer had long been established.

“He was already well known,” Puckett said.

At the Corolla Wild Horse Fund’s Facebook page, dozens of people left condolences and other comments of sympathy.

“So very sad. But I believe we will get to see him again,” one comment read. “Animals are important to God. Remember, He made them before He made us silly humans.”

“My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to all of you. Meg Puckett, always remember he loved you as much as you loved him,” read another post.

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