(CNN) - Wild horses roaming North Carolina's barrier islands will ride out Hurricane Florence, depending on instincts whetted over centuries to survive.
They are better off staying in their natural habitat than they would be if humans intervened to whisk them away, said Meg Puckett, herd manager of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which protects horses roaming in the Currituck area.
"We do everything that we can to protect them, but in situations like this, these horses have incredible instincts," Puckett said of the 100 or so colonial Spanish mustangs in the area. "They're so resourceful, and they have an incredibly strong will to live."
The horses know where to go for shelter, Puckett told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday.
"We're already seeing them group up together. They go into the maritime forest, where they get under the cover of the live oak trees that protect them and go to the highest ground," Puckett said.
The storm could cause a dangerous storm surge and catastrophic winds and rain and threaten South Carolina as well.
The more than 100 wild horses at Shackleford Banks, the southernmost barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore, will take refuge in the island's interior and other locations like they do during any storm, the national park said in a Facebook post in response to a question about the horses.
Puckett said people who have chosen not to evacuate will keep an eye on the Currituck horses.
"These horses have been here centuries. They are probably better equipped to handle this kind of weather than anybody else on the Outer Banks right now," she said.