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Foal rescued from mud in southeastern Oregon

Blair Street, a wild horse and burro specialist, was inspecting a waterhole when she noticed the foal's mom exhibit unusual behavior.

HARNEY COUNTY, Ore. — An employee with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rescued a wild young horse that was stuck in mud in southeastern Oregon earlier this month.

Blair Street, a wild horse and burro specialist with BLM, was patrolling the far east side of the Beatys Butte Herd Management Area on Aug. 3. While inspecting Three Lakes Waterhole in Harney County, Street said she saw a wild mare repeatedly run back and forth from a nearby ridge to her truck. 

"Some stallions will do that when their group is watering, saying, 'Hey, get away. These are my mares, back off.' But when it turned around ... [it was a] very different scenario and she just kept doing that," said Street.

Street decided she needed to take a close look to figure out what was behind the horse's unusual behavior.

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"And as soon as I got around that dirt berm, there was her foal stuck in the mud," she said. "I kind of had that 'oh no' moment because I've done it before. I think every horse specialist has pulled horses out of mud holes that have not made it."

Street estimated the foal to be three to four months old. She grabbed a rope from her truck, wound it around the end of the young horse and was able to pull it free.

"After pulling the colt out of the mud and trying to get it to relax, I checked its legs for any injuries. Not seeing or feeling any, I sat patiently waiting for it to get up."

About 30 minutes later, the young horse was reunited with its mom, who had been on the ridge watching and waiting.

Street said it felt good to see the foal return to its mom, especially since she has unsuccessfully tried to save horses in similar situations in the past.

"I definitely have a unique job," Street said. "A lot of people say sometimes that we leave the horses be and this was a time that I felt like I needed to step in and actually help because I don't like seeing horses in that condition on my range."

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