A horse is in a “critical but stable” condition after being found is such a weak state that RSPCA inspectors thought he was dead.
A passer-by spotted the piebald cob collapsed on the outskirts of Cray Valley Golf Course in Sidcup, Kent, on 16 November.
They called the RSPCA, who took him to a veterinary hospital where he remains.
“This poor horse was so emaciated and still we thought he was dead at first,” said RSPCA inspector Ellen Thomas.
“Then as I approached him, he weakly lifted his head, so I knew we had a chance to save him.”
Ms Thomas added it seemed as though “Bumble” was dying of thirst — there was no water in the field and it is thought he may have been lying there for two days.
She said he had very overgrown hooves and had “clearly been neglected”.
“It seems likely he had been just dumped there and left to die in this very secluded spot. We urge anyone with any information about who may have done this to call us,” she said.
“Gradually, we did manage to get him to sit up, and then bumble on down to the horse box so we could take him to the vet to be cared for and treated.
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“It took him a long time to get there because he was so weak — and we have now named him Bumble as a result.
“He’s in a critical condition, but doing as well as he can do — and we have everything crossed that he will make a good recovery.”
The charity is appealing for information on 0300 1238018.