Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Deputy Saves Wild Mare and Her Foal


Currituck deputy saves wild foal trapped in canal

r | July 18, 2012  
The Outer Banks Voice

Mare and foal in the canal (Nathan Large)

An off-duty Currituck County Sheriff’s Deputy, who also works for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, rescued a foal trapped for at least five hours Tuesday in a canal on the soundside of Carova Beach.
Deputy Nathan Large, who has worked for the sheriff’s office over the past three years on beach ATV duty, was alerted by herd manager Wesley Stallings.
“There was a mare and a foal in a canal that runs parallel to the beach near the Carova Fire Station,” Large said. “They were approximately 150 to 200 yards from the closest boat ramp.”
A series of canals provides access to Knotts Island Bay from a number of properties in Carova Beach. While nearly all the developed lots have bulkheads or private boat ramps, several lots slope down to the water, and the horses use them to cross the canals or just take a swim.
“Someone posted on our Facebook page about why did it take someone so long to call,” said Corolla Wild Horse Fund Executive Director Karen McCalpin.
“Seeing horses in the canal would not raise a red flag for people who live up there, because they are in the canals all the time.”
“Betty Lane (a Wild Horse Fund volunteer) and myself tried to clap our hands and make noise and get them to head towards the ramp,” Large said.
“Next, I got a rope around the foal’s neck and tried to guide him towards the ramp, but it wasn’t working. It was working the horses up more than anything.”
The foal, estimated by McClapin to be about one month old, had started to show signs of fatigue — shaking, not moving, and dipping its head toward the water.
Large decided to take matters into his own, sizeable hands.
“I just jumped in the water, I picked him up, and just put him on the ground,” Large said. “They look like an overgrown great dane, and I was thinking this guy’s going to be like 200 pounds.
“But he was light, I was surprised . . . He didn’t buck, he didn’t try to bite me, he didn’t try to kick me, it was just as smooth as you can imagine.  
“Then I walked and swam behind (the mare) until she got to where she could walk up out of the canal on a lot with no bulkhead.”
McCalpin says Large is being just a little modest about the rescue.
“If you’ve ever been in one of those canals … with that Carolina quicksand effect … to lift a soaking wet foal above his head and place it on the ground was a Herculean feat,” McCalpin said. “There’s just no way to say how grateful we are to him . . . He saved two lives.”

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