"We don't normally expect to see horses on the beach this time of year, but the unseasonably warm weather has them acting more like it's June, not January."
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Wild Horses
Credit: Evangeline Gaikwad / 500px/Getty Images

Unseasonably warm weather across the Carolinas has wild horses on the Outer Banks acting strangely, prompting experts to issue a stern warning to local drivers.

In a rare January anomaly, temperatures in North Carolina have been hovering in the 60s and 70s for days. The weather is reportedly confusing the horses who have been sleeping on the beaches at night, putting themselves directly in the path of recreational vehicles.

“Please be careful!” the Corolla Wild Horse Fund warned on Facebook Sunday. “We don’t normally expect to see horses on the beach this time of year, but the unseasonably warm weather has them acting more like it’s June, not January.”

According to The Charlotte Observer, this time of year is usually when wild horses retreat to the maritime forest, where they are shielded (butts to the wind!) from cold winds. Warm temperatures bring out the bugs, forcing the horses to the beaches to avoid being bitten.

This week’s warning was inspired by a photo shared by Daniel T. Myers III that shows the horses standing in the dark on Corova beach on Sunday. Myers, who speculates that they were pushed to the beach by mayflies, advised other drivers to “keep a look out,” as the horses are hard to see at night.

Sadly, collisions with vehicles are a chief cause of death among the wild horses on the Outer Banks.  Be careful out there, y’all!