Wild Stallion Thought to Be Dead Remerges from Outer Banks Swamp 150 Pounds Heavier

Coming out of quarantine like…

Disappearing for more than a month and then reemerging 150 pounds heavier isn't usually a good thing… that is, unless you're a horse.

On the Outer Banks, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is celebrating the miraculous return (and incredible weight gain!) of a wild stallion that was believed to have died weeks ago.

The horse, named Topnotch, was last seen April 9 looking quite poorly, with his ribs showing and patches of hair loss. The old horse had a rough winter keeping his large harem of mares away from a young black stallion looking to usurp him.

Wild Horses of Corolla
Rebecca Mack/Getty Images

"Through the winter we watched as the black stallion tailed the harem relentlessly, keeping Topnotch on the defensive. His body condition began to suffer under the stress, but he never slowed down," herd manager Meg Puckett recalled on Facebook. "Then at the beginning of April, Topnotch was spotted without his mares and we knew he must have lost the long fight to keep them."

Significant weight loss and poor coat condition indicated the stress was impacting his health in other ways too, so when he slipped away into the marsh a few days later, they assumed the worst had happened.

"But lo and behold, he was spotted today looking wonderful!" Puckett announced Tuesday. "He's probably gained about 150lbs and his skin condition seems to have cleared up. He's still alone, but such is life for an old stallion."

The nonprofit will continue to keep a close eye on him throughout the summer. Hopefully his body condition will continue to improve.

"All in all, a good day in Carova!" Puckett concluded.

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