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The mare in this picture is dying. And she's leading her foal from the wilds of Dartmoor to the safety of human care


Final journey: The emaciated mare walked across Dartmoor for five days in order to deliver her foal to the home of owner Lorraine Chambers

Trudging for days across the exposed moor, this is a dying mother’s final act of love for her newborn.
Just hours after leading her foal to the safety of a farm, the mare died.
Experts believe she knew she did not have long to live when she spent five days fighting illness and exhaustion to guide her young offspring across Dartmoor.

Sad tale: The mare then died less than 24 hours later

The foal was dependent on her mother’s milk, and would have died alongside her if she had not been escorted to human care.
But the tired and emaciated mare battled to deliver her to the home of her owner, Lorraine Chambers – only to die less than 24 hours later. Vets confirmed that the mother died of natural causes but said she would have been aware of her failing health.

Doing well: Now the orphaned foal is being hand reared by Charlotte Faulkner of the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association

Now five months old, the foal, who has been named Queenie, is being hand-reared by Charlotte Faulkner of the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association. She will be rehomed on another farm after she is weaned in the coming months.
Mrs Faulkner said: ‘Both mare and foal would have been out there on the moor for the whole summer and would have been brought off the moor in the annual round-up next month.

Dedication: Ms Faulkner is now giving the little pony her undivided attention as a tribute to the courage shown by its mother

‘The mother must have known what would have happened to her foal if she had died so she brought her in.
‘Queenie has her own little paddock at the moment and has a friend in another foal close by, but if she gets a little lonely she cries out for my attention, just like any other young toddler.

source: dailymail