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Rangers Free Trapped Horse

Acadia National Park

National Park News

Operators of the Wildwood Stables discovered early Thursday morning, May 24th, that their 12-year-old Belgian Suffolk Cross, a horse named Duke, had broken through the barn floor sometime that morning or the night before. The 2,000-pound draft horse was discovered flailing with only his head and front legs above floor level. The horse’s body was collapsed into a section of the four-and-a-half foot crawl space that was surrounded by concrete walls. The horse’s hind legs were folded beneath him, and his massive frame completely filled the hole, making access to his hind quarters impossible. To extricate the horse, rangers cut through the hayloft floor and rigged a come-along that was attached to the barn rafters. The horse was sedated to minimize his thrashing, and rescuers wrapped a section of fire hose around the horse’s torso. Rangers and maintenance staff worked together with the Mount Desert Fire Department and a Northeast EMS crew to hoist the horse up and drag him out of the pit. The veterinarian was unsure whether the horse would be able to walk, but within a half hour Duke was up and walking.



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