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‘Only time will tell’: half-blind abandoned pony fights for survival

A charity has said “only time will tell” if an emaciated pony blind in one eye, who was left for dead on a nature reserve, will survive.

The RSPCA rescued the mare from Great Ryburgh, Norfolk, more than two weeks ago after a concerned landowner contacted the charity.

A spokesman for the charity said staff, along with a vet and with assistance from Redwings, attended the nature reserve and used pen sections in order to catch the pony, who has been named Nightingale. The mare was taken to a private boarding facility for urgent treatment.

“Nightingale had been left to die. We were shocked at how emaciated she was and she was clearly terrified by her ordeal,” said RSPCA inspector Jason Finch.

“We think she is between 10 and 15 years old. She was very skinny, blind in one eye and had diarrhoea. She also has a sinus infection which caused discharge from her nose and she had an awful smell coming from her mouth.”

Mr Finch said Nightingale seemed very dejected, adding her spirit was “flat”.

“Who knows what this poor mare had been through in her life,” he said.

“Her condition is worrying and time will only tell if she has enough fight in her to get better. She’s on a course of antibiotics for her infection – but if it doesn’t clear then she will require further treatment which could include X-rays and a sinus flush.”

The spokesman added after Nightingale was de-wormed the mare passed parasites the length of a human hand.

“We are all hoping she has the strength to fight and the infection can be brought under control,” said Mr Finch. “She’s so very sweet and nervous, it’s tragic that she has been just dumped in a field to die because she is no longer of value to whoever owned her previously.

“The people caring for her say they are seeing small signs of improvement with her and she’s starting to eat a little now as well, but we do have to take one day at a time.”



Nightingale will remain in RSPCA care while she receives ongoing veterinary treatment.

“If she is strong enough to pull through she has been offered a home at Redwings at a later date,” said the spokesman.

Since the start of the lockdown the RSPCA has dealt with more than 21,000 animal incidents, an average of 660 a day, or 27 an hour. In Norfolk, the charity has dealt with 365 incidents since the start of lockdown.

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