A two-year-old Exmoor pony that was rescued from a quagmire in woodland has had to be put down.

Around 15 firefighters were called out to woodland in Sutton Park, in Sutton Coldfield, at 6.41pm on last Wednesday (14 January).

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service Technical Rescue Unit said the pony was distressed and suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion.

Local press reports said the pony may have fallen into a hole and was sinking in land softened by melting snow and pouring rain.

The animal was sedated by a vet and heavy blocks placed around to stop it sinking further. A plastic sheet was slid underneath to enable it to be dragged out of the mud.
The rescue operation took two hours.

Park rangers then took the pony to a secure unit at Sutton Park for treatment and on the advice of vets it was put down.

“We’re looking into how it happened,” said a spokesman.

Exmoor ponies were introduced to Sutton Park in 1999 as a conservation grazing project.

There are now about 32 grazing ponies on 400 acres to the north of the railway line, which runs through the park.

Sutton Park was designated a National Nature Reserve by English Nature in 1997 and is also a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Run by Birmingham City Council it is the seventh largest urban park in Europe and the second largest outside a capital city.

The park is a mix of heathland, wetlands and marshes, has seven lakes and extensive ancient woodlands.

The Donkey Sanctuary has an assisted therapy centre at Sutton Park with 21 donkeys on the site. Over 200 local children with special needs visit every week and the centre is open to the public.