Another Filly Found Dead

November 11, 2001. Apparently, our lines of communication have failed, badly. We left several people with ID sheets and many ways to contact us during our annual Hurricane Season absence from Abaco. Something didn't work because we were only informed on Nov. 7 that one of our three year old fillies died six to eight weeeks ago. She was too decomposed for an ID by the people who found her and contacted us. When we return to Abaco we'll identify her by the process of elimination.

Bellatrix II ?
Alnitak ?
Spica ?
The situation is particularly frustrating because all three fillies have been literally saved several times, each with timely, simple treatment for such things as eye infections, abscesses and hoof problems. It's entirely possible that this death was preventable and is yet another example of the need for reliable daily observation of each horse.

On October 27 the remains were pointed out to Dr. Gary Garcia an equine reproduction specialist who went to Abaco as a volunteer specifically to asses the herd., Dr. Garcia was accompanied by David Knowles, the Agricultural Officer for Abaco. We weren't present because engine trouble aborted our scheduled October 20 Gulf Stream crossing. As of this date contrary winds still have us pinned in Miami.

Despite everyone's frustration and deep sadness over the loss of yet another irreplaceable horse, Dr. Garcia was optimistic, supporting our belief that rapid placement of the horses on their own preserve could stop the decline. The horses must be removed from the farm where they have gathered since Hurricane Floyd two years ago. On the farm they are surrounded by over rich food and other hazards. In a forest preserve their feed and health can be more readily monitored and they willb be back in a habitat that provides appropriate amounts of food and needed exercise.

Dr. Garcia corroborated the findings that the mares are obese and suffering (literally) from vairous stages of lameness, laminitis and possible founder.

It is unknown whether these problems are simply from obesity or if there is some toxin or noxious weed in the rich grasses on the farm.

Our main effort right now is to have a forest preserve established for the horses. Then we can concentrate on building a clinic, getting the mares healthy and supporting sucessful reproduction.

As always, donations of money, equipment and supplies are needed. (See our Wish List) We also need volunteers in the U.S. to help with publicity and fundraising. If you would like to volunteer, send us email.


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