Elderly Wild Horse Known for "Babysitting" Young Horses Found Dead on Outer Banks

“Hazel lived and died as every wild horse should—free, and on her own terms.”

Some sad news out of the Outer Banks. Hazel, the elderly wild horse who warmed hearts with her "harem hopping," has died.

Hazel—who recently sought out other mares' newborn horses and "babysat" them—was believed to be nearly 30 years old.

Hazel Wild Horse Outer Banks
Corolla Wild Horse Fund

"She seemed to enjoy her role as honorary grandmother to the foals and could be seen babysitting while their moms grazed and rested," Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) herd manager Meg Pucket wrote on Facebook Sunday.

The beloved horse was laid to rest near Penny's Hill, where she lived all her long life.

"Hazel lived and died as every wild horse should—free, and on her own terms," Puckett continued. "We will miss seeing her on the beach but take comfort in knowing she lived a great life and left a huge mark on the herd."

The cause of being is best described as natural causes. There were "no signs of trauma or any indication that she didn't pass naturally," herd manager Meg Puckett told The News & Observer.

Old age was the cause of death, but the excessive heat that the Outer Banks has been experiencing likely made things worse for the senior horse.

"We had noticed that she'd been slowing down some lately. The heat has been really hard on the older horses," Puckett noted.

Rest in peace, sweet Hazel!

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