Typically, a phone call in the middle of the night is never good news. That’s exactly what members of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund feared when the sheriff’s department dialed their number late Saturday night. Responsible for the care and protection of the wild horses that live on the northern Outer Banks, the fund frequently responds to horses in distress. On this particular night, someone had reported a “small horse” lying in the middle of a beach-bound road. Fearing the worst, the sheriff’s department arrived on scene.
Sometimes middle-of-the-night phone calls from the sheriff's department end with laughter, not tears. I was getting…
While a large animal lying motionless on a road is obviously alarming, the distressing phone call turned into something completely unexpected. When deputies arrived, they couldn’t help but laugh. Instead of finding an injured or dead wild mustang, they found the one and only Outer Banks wild mule. The mule in question is named Raymond, and he’s a regular face among the wild horses of the North Carolina coast. And instead of being dead or hurt, Raymond was simply taking a nap—and he didn’t want to be disturbed.
With all the people, traffic, and even a barking police dog, Raymond couldn’t be coaxed out of his deep snooze. He was checked for possible injuries, but all seemed fine with the unconscious equine. Corolla Wild Horse Fund said in a Facebook post,
“Horns, sirens, yelling, the police dog barking at him…Raymond was taking a nap, by god!”
After a lot of poking and prodding, Raymond finally woke up. He gathered himself together and casually made his way out of traffic and toward the beach. The wild mule didn’t seem to notice the commotion he caused.
Seeing Raymond out of danger was a big relief for the Outer Banks community. The spunky wild mule is the last remaining offspring of a donkey that lived with the herd of wild horses more than 20 years ago. He is sterile, but that doesn’t stop him from behaving like a big, bad stallion on the beach. He’s often seen with a harem of mares and has known no other life than that of a wild horse.
Raymond has slowed down over the years, and now that he’s in his 20’s, the Horse Fund was worried he wouldn’t survive the winter. And when Hurricane Dorian hit, officials were once again concerned for his welfare. But it turns out Raymond is a survivor—albeit a sleepy one.