Premature foal is saved – by fleecy jacket and bottle feeds
A spotted foal who nearly died after being born two weeks premature has been nursed back to health and is now full of life in his coastal home.
The foal, nicknamed Roley after his habit of rolling over, is only the second British spotted pony to have arrived at Wembury Point, near Plymouth.
Born in May to a Dartmoor mare and a spotty father, the pony received round-the-clock care from the National Trust South Devon Countryside Team. He was wrapped in fleecy jackets for warmth and given hourly feeds by hand because he was born so prematurely his mother had not produced any milk.
In August he was put back on to the land at Wembury Point with other ponies to help graze the area.
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Lorna Sherriff, a ranger with the National Trust team, said: "He was so weak when he was born we really weren't sure he would make it.
"It was like looking after a baby – we had to wake up regularly and warm a bottle for him, and wrap him in special little jackets to keep him alive. Seeing him now is amazing, he is so happy. We're very pleased we could help."
His owner, Lisa Windsor, managed to capture this joyful moment as Roley – full name Rolyyat – leapt through undergrowth. There are about 170 spotted ponies born each year and they were once wild in the UK. The spotty coat was a natural camouflage as they roamed the forests of ancient Britain.