Four-hour rescue of pony found in a bog and ‘sinking fast’

  • A team of rescuers worked “tirelessly” to save a pony who was being sucked down into a bog in Yorkshire.

    The RSPCA, fire services and landowner the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust joined forces to rescue the Exmoor mare on Monday (9 July), in a four-hour rescue mission.

    Passers-by spotted the “distressed” pony submerged in a ditch, in the middle of the bog, up to her shoulders in water.

    “Unfortunately, the mud was so silty it was having a vacuum effect on her legs; she thrashed around a little but she was unable to walk out. She was stuck fast,” said animal collection officer Leanne Honess-Heather, who contacted a vet and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

    A crew from Acomb and an animal rescue unit from Tadcaster and Malton realised slings and boards would be needed for the rescue.

    “Although the pony was beginning to tire, it was decided that in order to attach the slings safely, it would be in the pony’s and our best interest to sedate her for the rescue,” said Leanne. “Being in a bog, this was no easy task, but vet Rachel Schneiders and vet nurse Nicola Scott from Minster Equine Veterinary Clinic managed to administer the sedative safely from the bank.

    “From this point it was all hands on deck. The animal rescue teams secured the slings and prepared a board to move her quickly away from the water. As they were unable to get any vehicles down to the area, everyone on scene grabbed hold and heaved her out to safety.”

    Continues below…

    The mare, who had sustained only superficial cuts and minor swelling, was back on her feet and grazing in “no time at all” and moved into a field to recover.

    “All in all, the rescue took four hours and it was a great team effort with organisations working tirelessly together to free this poor pony,” Leanne added.

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