On Sunday, May 15th, WHOAS received several phone calls about a wild horse very young foal that was tangled up in some barbwire west of Sundre. In response to this urgent call several members quickly attended at the site to try to help the little fellow. Upon arrival they found the foal hanging upside down with both hind feet tangled tightly in the wire. They immediately put a shirt over his head to calm him down and then commenced to cut him loose.
Using a soft cotton rope they configured a halter and come-along to get him over to the awaiting truck.
It is important to note that the mare and her herd had been moved off by the stallion. In order to ensure the survival of his whole herd, this stallion would not allow the mare to remain or return. As unfortunate as it may seem, it is just nature’s way. Luckily, in this case, the foal was found and rescued, but one wonders how many other times this may happen and the ending is different. We do know there are a number of wolves and one black bear in this immediate area. The foal would have not survived the night.
It is a sad commentary that a lot of these abandoned well sites, as in this case, are surrounded by barbwire fences that have been allowed to fall into disrepair. This well site, owned by Apache oil, has been in this state at least for the last four years. Not only a danger to the wild horses, but also to the deer, elk and moose. There is no need to have these abandoned sites fenced in if there is no well head present.
Attempts were made both this day and on Monday to locate the herd and his mare to no avail and so it was brought to a member’s ranch who had a proper box stall and lots of experience dealing with orphan foals. WHOAS did obtain as soon as possible the proper paper work from Alberta Environment and Parks
(AEP) to keep this foal and rehabilitate it for future adoption.
It was fortunate the little colt’s wounds were not that serious and his legs were okay. At his new digs, he was administered first aide and introduced to milk replacer, hay and water. Being a quick learner, by his second feeding, he was drinking his milk directly from a bucket and thoroughly enjoying it.
The little boy did not even struggle that much when cold water was applied to his wounds to help reduce the swelling.
It was extremely heartwarming to watch this little fellow meeting the resident group. The two big boys were so gentle nuzzling and mouthing this new little fellow seemingly to assure him it would be okay here.
We will keep you posted on his progress.