An orphaned foal has adopted a teddy bear to keep him company. Staff and the Mare and Foal Sanctuary, Devon, appealed for a giant teddy after rescuing a newborn Dartmoor Hill pony that had lost his mother, and were inundated with cuddly toys.

Syra Bowden, from the sanctuary, said: “It’s been wonderful to see him interacting with his new teddies and cuddling up to them when he goes to sleep. They are great company for him and provide comfort during the brief periods when his carers are not present.”

The sanctuary was alerted to the pony, now named Breeze, by a farmer on Dartmoor on 24 May, who had found him in distress.

He had only been born a few hours earlier, was unable to find his mother, and had been seen trying to suckle from a number of mares. When staff from the sanctuary arrived at the scene, Breeze collapsed in a state of shock and dehydration.

Ms Bowden added: “Sadly, little Breeze has not got his mum around to keep him company and although his carers here work around the clock to look after him, it’s not quite the same.

“We always give our orphaned foals a giant cuddly toy as a companion; they’re just like human babies in the way it provides them with comfort. And now we have plenty of teddies for future orphaned foals that may need our help.”

Breeze was put on a drip, had a catheter fitted and was given crucial colostrum drips, milk and medication. After a critical first week, Breeze is now doing well.

“He’s a cheeky chap with lots of character and is growing bigger and stronger by the day,” said Ms Bowden. “He’s just started to go out into the field to play — he’s not scared of anything and loves being outside.”

Picture courtesy of The Mare and Foal Sanctuary