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Mystery attack on pony

Thelma the Shetland pony before the two attacks
Thelma the Shetland pony before the two attacks - image courtesy of Alan Beesley
A Shetland pony is recovering after being attacked for a second time and left with deep cuts and scratches. It happened at a local stable yard. The cause of the injuries remains a mystery.

Stable owner, Alan Beesley, says the second attack happened earlier this week. He says he found the pony, Thelma, with a huge gash on her neck.

Writing in this site’s forum, Mr Beesley says he called a vet from the RVC (Royal Veterinary College) to attend to the animal.

"This time the wound was on the other side of her neck and was about two inches deep and had penetrated three to four inches down. The vet could put his whole index finger in the gash. She also had the same tell-tale scratches around the area," he wrote.

Mr Beesley says he was delighted with the speed the RVC vet attended the injured pony, which he says has been traumatised by the attack. The same animal had been similarly attacked just before Christmas 2005. Mr Beesley says the pony had been "wrestled face down in the mud and was covered in blood."

He says the cuts were too deep for a dog and could only put it down to some kind of large cat.

"Thelma used to be a very cheeky and chirpy little pony, but hasn't really got over the first attack. She has become sullen and subdued and we don't know what affect this latest attack will have on her, but she is showing positive signs of making a full recovery. She is the oldest and smallest pony we have and obviously the most vulnerable," he wrote.

Mr Beesley wonders whether the pony could have been attacked by a wild cat. There have been many claims that pumas have been spotted in the area, but so far nobody has been able to prove the claims.

"We also have a couple of over-fed pet sheep and were curious as to why they weren't attacked. We have been told that pumas don't like the taste of sheep and find their wool a problem. Our dogs (two black Labradors) have picked up some strong scents over the past few days.

"In fact one of the neighbours thought that she'd seen one of our dogs yesterday day time as she saw a large black animal walk across the drive, but the dogs were not there all day. We have checked our CCTV but can only make out a small blob, which in fairness could be anything.

"I have also heard blood-chilling screams of animals being killed over the past few years. The victims were clearly in a lot of pain. We are surrounded by woods which is brimming with wildlife, probably the ideal environment for a puma," he wrote.

Mr Beesley says he has notified the police about the incident, but says there is not a lot they can do about it. He is hoping others reading this will come forward if they have an information that could help discover what happened to his pony.

You can discuss the issue in a discussion thread in this site’s forum.

23 March 2006

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