NEAR WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – A horse had to be rescued when it got stuck in a mud pit, near West Palm Beach.
Firefighters worked to relieve the 25-year-old horse, named Skip. He managed to get stuck in the mud up to his belly, early Monday morning.
Officials said all four of the animal’s legs were stuck.
The horse became startled by the crew working around him, so a veterinarian was called to the scene in order to sedate him. His eyes also had to be covered, as rescuers got to work.
Crews used hand tools and a pulley system to dig Skip out. “It is a labor-intensive operation,” said Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Capt. Albert Borroto. “They used a pulley system and literally used manpower and hoisted the animal out of the mud.”
It took eight firefighters about an hour, but they were eventually able to free the animal.
The rescue was captured on camera, and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue later posted the video to Twitter.
Officials said the mud pit was once a watering hole. “The dry situations, the pond had actually drained down,” said Borroto. “It had evaporated, and all that was left was a mud hole at the bottom.”
A vet later gave Skip a full checkup to ensure he was not hurt. The horse is currently recovering from the stressful ordeal.
“The horse appears to be in good shape,” said Borroto. “It’s drinking water, walking around, eating.”
But as to what caused Skip to become trapped in the first place, Borroto said, it will likely remain a mystery. “Animals are unpredictable. We don’t know if the horse was spooked, if it just wandered down there inadvertently and got stuck by accident,” said Borroto. “We don’t know how the horse ended up down there.”
Borroto said while it’s a rare occurrence, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue is prepared and does train its firefighters to rescue large animals.
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