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Fishermen rescue 3-day-old wild horse in Outer Banks canal
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Fishermen rescue 3-day-old wild horse in Outer Banks canal

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An Outer Banks fishing trip took an unexpected turn Tuesday, when a group of anglers pulled a 3-day-old horse out of the water instead of a fish.

It happened in the Carova area, and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is crediting the men with saving the filly’s life.

The horse, named Beatrice, was born Saturday, the fund reported on Facebook.

“Our herd manager received a call around 6 am that there was a foal struggling in the canal,” officials posted. “Thank goodness there were three fishermen right there who were able to get Beatrice out of the water.”

Owen Carson of Brevard was among the rescuers, and he says the filly had somehow gotten into the canal and was unable to climb out, according to a Facebook post.

It was risky from the start, he wrote, due to the filly’s parents lingering at the edge of the water, trying to protect their baby from threats.

However, Carson believes the foal would have drowned had they not acted quickly to move it to shallow water.

“We knew we needed to help, so we circled around and I hopped out, waded over, and gently guided her around the seawall abutment and to the nearest boat slip. (There) we awaited the wild horse rescue crew,” Carson said.

“Her legs were weak and trembling, but she knew I was helping, I could sense her calming down when I held her. I carried the foal in my arms for a moment and got her to the shallows, then nudged her out to the parents.”

Carson called the final minutes “intense.”

“Those horses are 100 percent muscle,” he wrote.

Once the filly was safe, he said, the men continued with their fishing. The other two anglers were his brother-in-law Jeff Kipp and father-in-law George Kipp, who are visiting from Ohio, Carson said.

Beatrice is recorded as the seventh foal born this year on Corolla, and her life appears to have been troubled from the start.

“After she was born, she didn’t nurse right away and was having a difficult time bonding with mom,” the fund posted on Facebook.

“We kept a very close eye on them and thankfully by the end of the afternoon they had figured things out and everyone was doing just fine.”

There are about 100 horses in the Corolla herd. One died last week due to an infection and another was recently removed from the wild after nearly choking to death on something he ate.

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