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COROLLA, NC (AP) — The Corolla Wild Horse fund has hired three people to patrol beaches and protect the animals from visitors.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, VA, reported that the fund has hired three people, including two off-duty law enforcement officers.

The move comes after a foal was found dying of malnutrition. A resident reported she had seen someone feeding watermelon rinds to the foal, a violation of a Currituck County ordinance. Food that domestic horses can eat can sicken and kill wild horses.

Wild Horse Fund Director Karen McCalpin says as more people visit the four-wheel-drive area north of Corolla, the harassment of the horses increases. In the past two years, three horses have been euthanized after being hit by vehicles.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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