Watch CBS News

Caught on camera: Lifeguard kicked by wild horse on beach

ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, Md. -- Assateague Island in Maryland is home to wild horses. And sometimes humans and those wild horses come in close contact while enjoying the beach.

CBS Baltimore reports that sometimes the horses even end up right next to beachgoers, when their food become an attraction. In a video posted Wednesday on the Assateague Island's Natural Seashore Facebook page, that is exactly what happened.

A lifeguard on the island was trying to get a horse to move along from a family's beach set up, but the horse was not complying.

The video captures the horse backing up and quickly kicking the lifeguard twice. The man somersaults backwards.

Horse Kicks Lifeguard on Beach

The human/horse interaction that was captured here over the weekend is a stark reminder of the power and unpredictability of wild horses. These types of interactions can happen in an instant, even to National Park Service personnel who have been trained to move horses from the beach. Help prevent this scenario from happening in the first place by folllowing these simple tips:* Please do not make food or water available to the horses.* When possible, keep food safely stored in a vehicle. If food must be brought to the beach, store it in a sturdy zippered bag or in a cooler that is secured shut with a strap.* Give the horses their space. Move at least a bus length away when a horse approaches. Do not try to save your belongings; wait until the horse is out of the area.*Wild horses communicate. Watch for pinned ears and sudden movements, as they indicate agitation that can lead to kicking and biting.Unfortunately, incidents like this happen every year. The lifeguard in the video suffered minor abrasions but was otherwise unhurt. Regardless of your comfort level around horses remember that the wild horses are powerful, unpredictable animals.

Posted by Assateague Island National Seashore on Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Assateague Island's Science Communicator Kelly Taylor told CBS Baltimore that the wild horses should be dealt with carefully, regardless of whether they appear welcoming to humans.

"While they may look fluffy, cute and pretty in a split second it can go from a happy situation to a drastic, dire situation," she explained.

CBS Baltimore reports that the lifeguard in the video suffered minor abrasions, but was otherwise unhurt.

The Facebook post by Assateague Island included suggestions for avoiding similar situations with horses including: giving the horses space, keeping food away from the horses, and watching for pinned ears and sudden movements.

"Regardless of your comfort level around horses remember that the wild horses are powerful, unpredictable animals," the post read.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.