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Pony from horror rescue becomes surrogate mum

September 6, 2010

A pony rescued from the horrors of Spindles Farm, in Buckinghamshire, early in 2008 has become a surrogate mum.

Gretel and baby Lewis
Redwings Horse Sanctuary says Gretel, a shetland rescued along with more than 100 other horses, is now the proud mum of an orphan foal in its care.

Two months after Gretel came to Redwings from Spindles Farm, she gave birth to her own foal, named Belle.

A natural mum with a grown-up foal, Gretel sprang to mind when Redwings was faced with an orphaned foal.

Shetland Lewis was born in May at a private property near to the charity. His mum died from colic just six weeks after he was born, and his owner asked Redwings to help when they found themselves unable to cope with his care.

"Hand-rearing and nurturing an orphaned foal like Lewis is something we have done many times before," said Redwings Head of Welfare Nic de Brauwere.

"But a foal needs the guidance and social skills that can only come from its mother so it was vital we teamed Lewis up with another equine resident who would love and nurture him while showing him how to be a pony."

After a couple of failed attempts, Gretel was the third pony Redwings tried Lewis with, and this time the bond was instant.

"Gretel clearly enjoys mothering Lewis and he seems to appreciate the 'shelter' being with his new mum gives him emotionally," said de Brauwere.

"Gretel being such a fantastic surrogate mum is particularly poignant to us as she came from such a large rescue where the outcome could have been very different. Lucky for Lewis!"



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