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A newborn foal's been rescued after rolling down a bank and getting stuck in deep mud in a river estuary in the New Forest.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Animal Rescue Specialist Buster Brown was called to Ashlett Creek in the New Forest at 7:30am on Wednesday 20 June.
On arrival Watch Manager Brown found the mare and her 12-hour old foal stuck in the mud, trapped beside a steep sea wall.
The owner had gone out early in the morning to check on her ponies as she knew the mare was very close to giving birth. When she found the mare at around 6:30am it was deep in the mud.
Luckily the tide was out. Apparently the mare had given birth to the foal during the night and the foal had fallen down the steep bank into the mud. The mare had then gone down into the mud to protect her newborn, where she remained guarding her foal until Buster arrived.
Watch Manager Buster Brown said:
“After making sure that both animals were not injured I decided to move the foal away from the mare knowing that she would naturally follow me with her foal. I then picked the foal up and carried it up the steep bank.
"I placed it onto the grass meadow at the top, the mare quickly followed and after a shrug of its coat and a ‘whinny’ both animals went off to feed on the meadow grasses with the foal suckling from its mother.
“the owner told me that the mare was called ‘Dena’ and her family always name new foals after bird names so she called this one ‘Mud-lark’, which seemed very appropriate!”
Thank you to Tim Woodcock for the photos.