A foal has been rescued from a Welsh mountainside after becoming separated from his mother by following walkers.
The RSPCA was called after the pony followed a family down a mountainside in Snowdonia, near the Coedty Reservoir above Tal-y-Bont, on 1 July.
The charity believes he had followed them for about four miles after which he collapsed, and was carried further.
After following the hikers such a long way, it was not possible to retrace his tracks to reunite the colt with his mother.
The RSPCA is now warning people to try to prevent foals from following them.
Fiona Jones, of RD Owen Equine Clinic, collected the stranded pony.
“Sadly, however well-intentioned someone may be, we’re urging people to not lead foals like this way away from their mothers,” she said.
“This foal had apparently walked some four miles, and it was impossible to retrace steps in this Snowdonia mountain range to return the equine to where he’d come from.
“It is so important people walking near equines do not entice, inadvertently or not, foals away – and, if that does happen, they make every effort to return them, as soon as possible.
“Had this happened in this instance, this foal would still be with the mother.”
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
The Suffolk horse is rarer than the giant…
‘Manny is a very special horse. He just…
The foal is now doing well at the rescue centre, where he is being hand-reared.
“Fortunately, this foal is doing brilliantly, and is thriving on the bottle — so, thankfully, this story may well have a happy ending,” said RSPCA Cymru equine rehoming officer Gareth Johnson.
He added it is an “excellent example” of the charity, vets and stables working together to protect animal welfare.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday