The Bacon family is vacationing in Emerald Isle again this summer, and today we took an excursion to Shackleford Banks near Beaufort, N.C. Shackleford Banks is a beautiful barrier island uninhabited except by a small herd of ponies. As with the famous swimming of the ponies from Assateague, Va., to Chincoteague, in which wild ponies are auctioned off by the community, Carolinians cull the pony population of Shackleford to keep the herd to a size consistent with the island’s ecological carrying capacity. There is no swimming from island to island, however, and, as far as I know, no ponies have died — as happened in Assateague last week in a freak accident. So far, the Beaufort community has avoided getting in the crosshairs of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Let’s hope it stays that way. The Bacons enjoyed their visit to Shackleford Banks so much that they have resolved to return for a longer visit and more wide-ranging exploration of the island.
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