Orphan Foal Killed

The Short Story of POLARIS

The mare SHAULA was seen alive on Sunday, May 26, 1997. She was found dead the next day. A pinto colt was found a mile and a half or so away from the dead mare on Wed. May 29. It was assumed that SHAULA was his mother. There is no proof. She had died of a prolapsed uterus and massive hemorrhage. He was placed in a fenced compound.

Rehor got to the foal, named POLARIS, Thursday morning May 30 with Enfamil and baby vitamins and bottles. He had blue eyes. He was very thin but began to fill out quickly. He nursed well, taking eight eight oz.bottles during the course of a day. Having acquired a motorcycle, Rehor either rode the cycle or rode to the farm with a farm employee every day, spending about mime hours a day with POLARIS. Between bottles Rehor would walk him around when he wasn' t sleeping.

He had a need to be near big machinery (like mama?) and once got trapped under a tractor. A little pushing and pulling got him out, grease smudged but unharmed. He had some tiny scars from bumping into the machines. Farm personnel made him a pen under a big shed with a roof. He had the fence of the compund and the fence of his pen to keep dogs away. Rehor cut weeds and grass for his bedding, put in a 55 gallon drum on its side on a frame and covered it with T shirts he'd gotten used to. He had something to lean on.

Per the Agcricultural Department' s instructions, farm management flew in some Foalac so he finally was getting proper nutrition. When traveling by truck, Rehor brought her two dogs. POLARIS got used to them. The goal was to teach him that dogs would be either friendly, or something HE could chase. He was taken out of the big compound for walks so he could get a whiff of other horses, and the other horses (about nine in one nearby group) could smell him. He'd follow Rehor over to the fence and let the farm kids touch him through the fence.He was urinating well, and while he didn't leave much manure, perhaps once a day, it was mushy but had some form, no diarrhea. He was very relaxed. Loud noises, dogs, pieces of wood falling in a squall, never spooked him. Rain and wind bothered him at first, but he got over that.

On Friday morning, June 6, Rehor found him on his right side in the pen. He was in shock, had a red, hairless bruise just smaller than a 50 cent piece on his right eyebrow bone. The eye itself was glazed and the blue was yellowish. His left eye was dilated, and starting to glaze. His legs and nose were cold etc.

Rehor got him rolled up, held his head up and got the T shirts under him. He tried to respond, but he was basically limp. There was no hope for him without a vet, who could never have gotten there in time had there been one on the island.

Nobody knows what happened.

Was he frightened by something so badly that he crashed into a post? Even if he brought his head up under the stand the barrel it's doubtful that he could have hit himself hard enough to do so much damage. Because of the way the pen was built, he couldn't have hit the post that was closest to where he fell. He had been alive at 7 pm the night before.We'll probably never know what happened.

It is the hope of the AWHF that when the Government of the Bahamas establishes the wild horse preserve, this will never happen again. The AWHF is contuing to write letters and faxes urging rapid establishment of the reserve.

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