Author Topic: A lovely afternoon with a sad ending - Nature can be brutal  (Read 819 times)

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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This morning i decided to walk as far as Drum, as the weather was perfect for a Winters walk amongst the Carneddau.
I parked my car at the upper Aber carpark, and it was quite busy for a mid week January.
The walk to Drum was superb, and the upper reaches of the path were covered in a few inches of snow, but the ground thankfully was not frozen.


The view from Drum's summit was magnificent, with excellent visibility, but as it was around 1pm, i thought it wise to get off the hills before the extreme cold made a return.


Over the many years ive walked these mountains, ive encountered a few corpses of Carneddau ponies, but half way down the reservoir road, i could see a body of one lying motionless on the roadside.


As i got nearer, to my great distress, i could see the poor creature was still alive, but death was not far away, as it remained motionless as i approached, and the glazed look in its eyes, indicated death was not long.


The cause of its accident looked very suspicious, i am not quite sure, but its a distinct possibility that a vehicle had hit it, as there was a wound on its forehead.


The terrain was very gentle, so there was no possibility of a serious fall having caused its injury.


Its not something i wish to see again, and not being able to do anything, was almost as upsetting as seeing the poor creature fading away.


I am still very upset at the incident, and no doubt it will take a while to get over it.


It more than spoilt a excellent morning walk.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Ive just sent an email to the Snowdon Society, to report what may be a suspicious death of one of these very rare, and unique ponies.
Aberystwyth University, discovered a few years ago, that the ponies are a unique species, and are not related genetically to any other known pony.
I cannot prove the poor creature was hit by a service vehicle, or possibly a quadbike, but its forehead had an impact injury, and the very unusual position it was lying in, right on the roadside, showed it had not fallen.

It may be totally innocent, but the encounter has left me very upset, and if someone has hit this pony and not reported it, thinking the death was natural, then the authorities must be notified.

It may be totally innocent, but the situation and position of the dying pony, looked very suspicious, and the fact that i could do nothing to help it, was very distressing.

richardh1905

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It's always distressing to see an animal suffering, Dyffryn. As to the cause - if I recall correctly that is a landrover track running up to the reservoir - I presume that you mean Llyn Anafon, and I would be surprised that a vehicle would be travelling fast enough to hit and mortally wound a pony. I didn't see the injury, or where the pony was in relation to the track, of course.

richardh1905

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I had a similar distressing encounter recently - there was a commotion in some bushes in our garden, with a bird calling out, and I discovered a sparrowhawk with it's leg hopelessly tangled up by a bit of plastic fibre, itself tangled around to a bit of honeysuckle. I couldn't go near is it was struggling violently, poor thing. I got in touch with the SSPCA, and one of their staff came out to try to save it. Unfortunately it's leg was completely dislocated, and she has to put it out of it's misery. The curse of plastic litter.

phil1960

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One two occasions Iíve come across something similar. The first time the poor thing was dead in the Mynydd Du forest and the birds had taken its eyes, very grim. More recently we had descended from Fan Foel and in the Waun Lwyd area when we came across a pony with a broken leg. Nothing we could do so we called the rspca and a horse charity we found the number of, giving them a grid reference,  they rang us back saying a ranger and a marksman would attend, not the best end to a good walk and quite upsetting too.
Touching from a distance, further all the time.

Islandplodder

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Must have been horrible, kind of thing that haunts you.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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The pony was lying on the side of the service road, positioned almost as if it had just gone to sleep, and chosen the most comfortable position to lie in.
It looked in perfect health, and apart from some blood on its forehead, it looked like it was sleeping, but its body was tense, and it looked like it had been there only a few hours.
Had it been lying motionless on the adjacent mountainside, then death by natural causes would have been most likely, but its location and position, looked strange, almost like a pedestrian lying in the road after being struck by a hit and run vehicle.

Its position right on the reservoir access road, looked strange, its difficult to put it into words, but it almost looked like it had been positioned there.

Obviously i cannot prove anything untoward, but seeing a lovely animal close to death, was very upsetting, i am still close to tears thinking about it, and thought it important that the Park authorities should know, even if they can do nothing.


The most upsetting thing, is that its corpse will remain there, that seems very inhuman, nobody want's to take responsibility for them, that will incur serious expense, with vet fees, and feed in heavy snow.


Just a most unpleasant experience, oh i wish i had returned back via the Roman Road route.
« Last Edit: 18:50:55, 17/01/19 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

pdstsp

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A horrible find, DA.  One of my earliest posts on this forum was to get some advice after finding one of these lovely animals dead by the side of Ffynnon Llugwy a few years ago.  In that case the poor thing seemed to have slipped from the side of  Pen yr Helgi Ddu - it was a very grim sight.


Could it have been hit by a falling rock?

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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That may be a distinct possibility, a freak accident, but i am not sure.
It was the way it was lying, facing upwards towards the reservoir, lying down like it had been positioned there, as if it was resting.
It was close to death, but its eyes were open and barely responding , but its body was not moving as if it wanted to get up.
Such a horrid experience, leaving it behind me was not nice, but what could i do.

pdstsp

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The only other thing I can suggest is to contact one of the local farmers or the local vet.


I bet is marred a lovely walk - that area is one of my favourites in Snowdonia, especially in winter.

phil1960

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The only other thing I can suggest is to contact one of the local farmers or the local vet.


I bet is marred a lovely walk - that area is one of my favourites in Snowdonia, especially in winter.
In my case the local farmer at Blaenau was sympathetic but not interested, unfortunately these ponies are wild and of no monetary value to them, itís  very sad.
Touching from a distance, further all the time.

Glyno

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A sad story. Try not to think too much about it, there was very little (if anything) you could do.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Thank you for the nice comments.
Like most of us, i am a great animal lover, and i am still missing my cat who passed away in March last year, after 18 long years.
It was the horror and distress of seeing a dying animal, a creature i could not help.
Ive seen a few corpses of these rare ponies over the years, but never one breathing its last, just so upsetting.

Innominate Man

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DA - none of us can image what you are going through even though we understand how upsetting this is for you. As Glyno says - try not to dwell on it too much.
Unfortunately, we humans have very vivid imaginations and we can consider so many options such as what could we have done better, or what opportunity did we miss. In reality there was nothing you could have done, so don't reproach yourself.
Animals on the other hand are less blessed with that level of imagination (or so we believe) and as a wild breed of pony this one is likely to have had an inbuilt fear or mistrust of humans.
It could be, that in those last few hours or minutes, the pony had that encounter with you and perhaps had some understanding that (despite it's instincts) you weren't the nasty human it expected. You would never know, but perhaps being there with it made some difference:-
In such a lonely/critical time - of all the creatures in the World, this pony had the company of a friendly and empathetic human.
Just a thought.
Only a hill but all of life to me, up there between the sunset and the sea. 
Geoffrey Winthrop Young

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Thanks for all your nice comments.
Apart from losing my dear pets, over the years, ive never experienced seeing a dying animal in the wild.
We have all seen road kills, possibly a few dead creatures in the wild, but seeing one in its last few moments of life, was extremely upsetting, and not being able to do anything to alleviate its suffering, made it far worse.
Just thank goodness i was not with a party of young children, or family group, i cannot imagine how it would have effected them.