Last Sable Island horse in captivity dies at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park

The last Sable Island horse in captivity has died. The 30-year-old animal, which did not have a name and was declining in health, was euthanized on the weekend at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park north of Halifax. (Shubenacadie Wildlife Park Facebook photo)

The last Sable Island horse in captivity has died.

The 30-year-old animal, which did not have a name and was declining in health, was euthanized on the weekend at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park north of Halifax.

Head nature interpreter Tabitha Cox says the small, sturdy horse was the last descendant of a group removed from the island in 1960 and sent to three wildlife parks in Nova Scotia.

About 400 feral horses remain on the long, narrow, crescent-shaped strip of land about 290 kilometres southeast of Halifax.

It's believed the original population, sent to Sable Island in the mid-1700s, included horses that belonged to Acadian settlers deported from Nova Scotia by the British between 1755 and 1764.

The remote island, which has strict limits on tourism, was declared a National Park Reserve in June 2013.