An orphaned week-old foal sleeps soundly in the lap of its new surrogate mum – a jumbo teddy bear. Breeze the bay pony was found abandoned on Dartmoor National Park just a few hours after his birth. Unable to find his mother, the tiny foundling was stumbling hopelessly around the hillside trying to suckle other mares.
By the time rescuers from a local equine sanctuary arrived Breeze had collapsed in a state of severe shock and dehydration. But after being nursed back to health over the following days he was missing one vital thing – a mum to cuddle and snuggle up to. Staff at the Devon-based Mare and Foal Sanctuary knew just the answer to comfort the lonely newborn – a four foot teddy they have named Buttons.
Sanctuary executive director Syra Bowden said: “Sadly, little Breeze hasn’t got his mum around to keep him company. Although his carers here at the sanctuary work around the clock to look after him, it’s not quite the same. As a result, we always give our orphaned foals a giant cuddly toy as a companion. They’re just like human babies in the way it provides them with comfort”.
Breeze was found on May 24 by a Dartmoor farmer who was unable to locate his mother. He is now being nursed 24 hours a day by a dedicated team of carers at the sanctuary’s Honeysuckle Farm in Newton Abbot, Devon. Syra said Breeze is making real progress – buoyed by his cuddly new companion.