April 11, 2024

National Park Services

A horse and her newborn foal were stranded on a popular beach in Arizona for weeks after rising waters trapped them there, officials said.

So officials devised a plan to rescue the horses from Lake Powell beach in Navajo Canyon, according to a National Park Service news release.

The mare wouldn’t seem to swim away from the beach to find more abundant food sources — despite the fact that horses can swim quite well — so Glen Canyon National Recreation Area staff had been feeding them hay and watching out for her and the foal since June 7, officials said in the release.

During that time, the mare had grown too weak to make the quarter-mile swim with her newborn, officials said.

A local veterinarian determined the rising lake elevations had trapped them on the beach and they had no way to escape on their own, officials said.

While the horses weren’t in danger of dehydration or of being inundated by the rising lake levels, their presence could be dangerous to boaters and people camping on the beach, officials said.

The rescue was possible in part because of the proximity to a marina and because an NPS boat that could accommodate a horse trailer was available.

The rescue was possible in part because of the proximity to a marina and because an NPS boat that could accommodate a horse trailer was available. 
The rescue was possible in portion because of the proximity to a marina and due to the fact an NPS boat that could accommodate a horse trailer was accessible.  Nationwide Park Services

“The most important contributions to the rescue efforts were made thanks to the generosity of the Kanab Veterinary Hospital and Best Friends Animal Society’s Sanctuary in Kanab,” which agreed to take the wild horses in, officials said.

A team sedated the mare and loaded both horses into a trailer on the boat, which took them to Kanab on June 25.

“Mom and baby are now eating, resting and safe at Best Friends,” said Jen Reid, manager of Horse Haven at the animal sanctuary. “We were thrilled to be part of this incredible rescue and look forward to helping these horses find a great home when they’re ready.”

After the filly is weaned, both will be available for adoption. Those interested in adopting them should contact [email protected].

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Brooke (she/them) is a McClatchy Actual-Time reporter who addresses LGBTQ+ information and nationwide parks out west. They researched journalism at the University of Florida, and previously lined LGBTQ+ information for the South Florida Solar Sentinel. When they’re not crafting tales, they appreciate hanging out with their cats, driving horses or shelling out time outdoor.