Heart-warming moment herd of wild horses rally around fallen stallion
Heart-warming moment herd of wild horses rally around fallen stallion in desperate attempt to revive him
- The rare spectacle was witnessed in the Westerwald mountain range in Germany
- Ingo Gerlach, 65, was photographing the herd of 18 Icelandic stallions
- He thought the horse was just tired before his herd surrounded the fallen beast
This is the heartwarming moment wild horses bite a poorly young stallion in a seemingly desperate attempt to revive him after he collapsed on the ground.
The rare spectacle was witnessed in the Westerwald mountain range in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Ingo Gerlach, 65, was photographing the herd of 18 Icelandic stallions when he noticed one of the horses had become isolated from the rest.
The two-year-old dun – so called because of its tan-coloured coat – seemed to be unwell, wobbling on its legs.
The young horse had fallen to the ground before its herd came to the rescue, urging it to get up
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Ingo, from Betzdorf, Germany said: ‘The stallion went to his knees with his front legs and sank to the ground.
‘Finally, he lay down on his side and didn’t move anymore.’
At first, the wildlife photographer thought the animal was just tired, or was rolling on its back to remove flees.
But when the creature remained motionless, one of his companions began to approach him.
‘The dark stallion quickly came to the horse lying on the ground to motivate him to stand up,’ said Ingo, who began to film the encounter.
The photographer who captured the spectacle initially thought the horse was just resting
Ingo Gerlach, 65, realised something was wrong when the herd began to bite the horse
Touching footage shows the dark-coloured horse approach his apparently sick friend, and nuzzle up to it with its head.
When the dun does not respond, the darker animal then begins to bite it on the legs, which causes it to sit up.
But soon after getting to its feet, the dun’s leg begin to shake, and it falls to the floor again.
Two others – a piebald and another dark horse with a cream-coloured mane – join the effort, biting their friend’s ears.
The two-year-old dun had fallen to its knees, then completely to the ground, seemingly unwell
The rescue attempt is repeated several times, with the three horses nipping various parts of the dun’s body every time it keels over.
Finally, the wobbly creature seems to find its feet, and the others gather around, rubbing up against it in a seeming show of support and affection.
Ingo braved the -2C temperatures on the mountain range to record the inspiring display of comradeship – which lasted around an hour and a half – on December 13.
He said: ‘The cold had become unimportant. The scenery was simply too rare and too dramatic.’
‘It seemed as if the stallions were trying to save their herd member from certain death,’ said Ingo
The nature-lover – who has observed the herd for about three years – later tried to research the behaviour, but could not find any reference to it.
Only on the next day did he learn from the herd’s owner that the dun had probably suffered from colic, abdominal pain caused by the digestive system.
However, he had never seen behaviour of that kind before.
Ingo said: ‘Why the other stallions motivated their comrades to get up is just as unclear.
‘It seemed as if the stallions were trying to save their herd member from certain death.’
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