WATCH: North Carolina's Most Famous Wild Horse Has Died
"Rest free and easy, Roamer," Corolla Wild Horse Fund wrote on Facebook Monday. "We love you."
Sad news out of the Outer Banks. Roamer, the most famous member of Corolla's herd of wild horses, a mustang known worldwide for his appearances on various tourism materials, has died.
The Corolla Wild Horse Fund announced via Facebook on Monday that 15-year-old Roamer passed away on Saturday, just 24 hours after being diagnosed with a tear in his GI tract that led to sepsis.
"On the morning of December 12, Roamer was showing signs of colic and we immediately called our vet," Corolla Wild Horse Fund explained in the now-viral post. "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."
"People out there know who Roamer is, but may not realize it," Meg Puckett, the herd manager for the Corolla wild horses, told The Charlotte Observer. "He was sort of a legend, on the cover of the tourism fliers and even on billboards. He was an ambassador for the horses."
Roamer was one of the oldest of the herd of nearly 100 horses. Puckett told the Observer that was also infamously difficult to tame, frequently fleeing the fenced-in area reserved for wild horses to wander among the tourists.
Eventually, herd managers were forced to relocate the handsome stallion to a rehabilitation site out of fear he would be hit by an off-road vehicle.
"That's how he got his name, Roamer," Puckett explained. "He eventually became part of our ‘Meet a Mustang' program which lets people have a more intimate experience meeting the horses."
Though he is gone, herd managers take comfort in knowing that he will not be forgotten.
"Roamer leaves behind his offspring on the beach and his legacy as an ambassador for his breed," the organization's Facebook post concludes. "We take comfort in knowing he will live on in those ways, but we are still grieving, and will be for a long time."
Rest easy Roamer. You will be missed.