Glow-in-the-dark ponies are wandering the foggy moorland of England's Dartmoor National Park. We know, we know -- it sounds like a scene from a fantasy book, but the ponies are actually being painted for their own protection!
In the past year, 74 free-grazing ponies have been injured by reckless drivers. Sadly, Karla McKechnie, Dartmoor's livestock protection officer, says the accidents are usually fatal for the ponies. The southern Devon area has been home to the Dartmoor ponies for the past 3,500 years, and in an attempt to keep their numbers from dropping too much, a new pilot project has been launched to paint fluorescent stripes on the ponies so that drivers might have a chance to see them and avoid taking them out with their cars.
A similar problem with reindeer in Finland occurred about a year ago, and they started spraying the creatures' antlers with glow-in-the-dark liquid to prevent car accidents. Inspired by their Finnish friends, McKechnie researched animal-safe paint products that would reflect off of an oncoming car's headlights.
Though their first try at painting the ponies wasn't entirely successful—the paint began to fade over time—they're not giving up on the idea. We applaud them for keeping at it! With winding icy roads becoming an extra caution for drivers in the winter, it's important that the ponies are protected as best as they can be, even if that means they'll look a little silly with some paint on their bellies and manes!
Personally, we'd like to see the look on kids' faces as they have their first encounters with one of the glow-in-the-dark ponies emerging from the foggy moorland! What a sight that would be!
See also: 16 Awwww-dorable Photos Of Mini-Horses That Will Make Your Heart Gallop