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New start for weeks-old foal found trying to suckle from her dead mother

A tiny foal found trying to suckle from her dead mother has found a safe home, and a foster mum, thanks to a south Wales charity.

When the Lluest Horse and Pony Trust was alerted to the filly’s predicament by a worried walker in March, staff “knew they had to respond with the utmost urgency”.

“What greeted us were the saddest most heart-wrenching scenes; a tiny foal all alone and hungry, still trying to feed from her thin dead mother on the ground,” said Lluest equine manager Dionne Schuurman.

The charity’s welfare team, and vets from Dyffryn Tywi Equine Clinic, managed to guide the foal, thought to be two or three weeks old, over bridges and fences, back to the sanctuary.

There, she was given a thorough vet check, a milk feed and the name Connie.

“She was fed every two hours around the clock and very quickly began to trust the team,” a spokesman for the charity said, while Ms Schuurman added that rescue was “just the beginning for a little foal like Connie”.

“She will have a tough battle ahead to grow stronger and learn to be independent,” Ms Schuurman said.

“As an orphan, separated from her mother so young and found in such harsh conditions, she may well face health problems as she grows. For us, it’s the best result that she won’t grow up in a life of neglect that she wouldn’t have survived.”

By the second week of June, Connie was able to spend time outside, although she was still being hand-fed.

“She also had another stroke of luck with one of our resident ponies Abbie taking over as her mother,” the spokesman said.

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Ms Schuurman added: “It’s vital for an orphan foal to have equine company, and have a horse take her under their wing. Abbie was found wandering the streets before she came to us and arrived heavily in foal, sadly her foal died hours after birth.

“Now she’s finally had a chance to mother a baby and since we introduced them, they haven’t looked back.”

Lluest has been supported by emergency funding during the coronavirus pandemic, but faces monthly outgoings of up to £12,000.

“The support of our community and funders so far has been amazing and we couldn’t have kept going without it,” Ms Schuurman said.

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