Wild horse foal euthanized after being rejected by mother

COROLLA, N.C. (Gray News) – A newborn foal in North Carolina had to be euthanized after it was rejected by its mother.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund said the foal, named Elsa, was born Sunday, June 1, to its mother in a wild horse herd.

Elsa was observed nursing and seen multiple times in the days after her birth. However, when staff members came across Elsa’s mother and 2-year-old sister, the newborn was not with them.

After a search, Elsa was found out on the beach with a different group about a half-mile away. She was with a mare who was being protective and trying to let her nurse, but Elsa was not getting nourishment and was unable to be left with her.

After consulting with a vet, staff members tried to grab Elsa and take her back to her mother to see if they could be reunited.

The staff members caught Elsa and got her into their truck when they noticed she was in bad shape. They conversed with the vet and discovered a witness had seen her being kicked by her mother Sunday.

It was then determined that they would not attempt to reunite Elsa with her mother and would instead bring her directly to the vet on the farm.

Elsa was tested, and the vet determined she was not successfully nursing. She also had pneumonia, was severely hydrated and was dysmature, meaning she was normal in terms of gestation age but immature in size and physical appearance. She was also found to be sick.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund said Elsa was most likely rejected by her mother because the horse could tell she would not survive.

Due to the rejection and her health problems, the vet and staff members decided to euthanize Elsa to prevent further suffering.

She was buried at the farm next to other foals who have died over the years.

The wild horse fund said it was grateful for all of its staff and volunteers and hoped that Elsa would rest easy.