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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 15:01 UK
Premature 'dalmatian' pony finds his feet
By Jemima Laing
BBC Devon

The pony finds his feet
The premature pony finds his feet after 48 hours of TLC

Around the clock care and attention from a National Trust team appears to have saved the life of a premature pony.

The male foal - with distinctive spotted colouring - was born at Wembury Point on Thursday 13 May 2010 and was too fragile to be moved.

Trust staff spent all Thursday night and all of Friday with the pony in freezing conditions.

It was touch and go then whether he would live.

Premature pony and mother - picture: National Trust
The pony pictured on mobile phone on Friday

However, as the photo at the top of the page shows, the youngster found his feet on Saturday 15 May and he is getting stronger all the time.

His remarkable recovery is down to the dedication of the trust team.

Staff and a vet were with the pony in the field all night, feeding him with bottled milk every hour.

"They are doing this today (Friday) as well and might have to stay out all night again tonight," said Claire Bolitho from the trust.

On Friday, trust warden at Wembury Point, Simon Garner, said the pony was very frail but "he is hanging on in there".

Simon sent the BBC Devon website some pictures of the foal from his mobile phone.

"He is refusing to leave the foal to get his camera!" said Claire.

The ponies are at Wembury to help graze the land, which the National Trust recently acquired.

Premature pony being bottle-fed - picture: National Trust
The foal being bottle-fed by a National Trust team

"We spent the night out in the field with him, feeding him every hour because he isn't able to get his milk from his mum," said Simon.

"It was freezing cold and we have wrapped him in a fleece jacket.

"We are spending all day with him today (Friday) and we'll have to carry on feeding him around the clock until he can take his own food.

"Hopefully he will be able to do that soon - although he isn't looking great at the moment.

"But his colours are stunning."

In April another foal was born at the same spot on the south Devon coast.

He had to be moved to a secret location because his colouring was so unusual and it was feared he could become a target for thieves.

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