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Wild horse separated from mother on Outer Banks, recovering from pneumonia

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund said someone spotted Brio, who was born in 2021, alone. His mother was nowhere to be found.
Credit: Corolla Wild Horse Fund

COROLLA, N.C. — The Corolla Wild Horse Fund said Brio, a horse that was born on the Outer Banks in 2021, is being treated for pneumonia after someone spotted him by himself on February 27.

The group shared the information on its Facebook page on Thursday and added that Brio's mother had not been seen for weeks.

The post explained that, initially, Brio didn't seem to be in any trouble at the end of February when he was calling for his mother and the other horses. He, technically, was old enough to be weaned, and staff members at the Corolla Wild Horse Fund checked with the group's veterinarian, deciding not to do anything right away. Instead, they waited to see if Brio would join back up with the group of horses that includes his father, Rocky, his grandmother, and Betsy, another horse that was born in 2021.

Credit: Corolla Wild Horse Fund

After Brio didn't show any interest in rejoining the group, despite seeing the other horses a number of times, staff members noticed he was becoming weak and wobbly in his back legs, the he was lethargic, and that he started to lose weight. They caught him and took him to the group's rescue farm where the veterinarian determined that Brio had pneumonia. They also found that he had become extremely thin and that they could feel every rib and his hip bones.

Credit: Corolla Wild Horse Fund

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund said it was hopeful that proper nutrition and corrective hoof trimming would take care of any issues with his legs. The vet put Brio on antibiotics, and the group said Brio had become more alert and aware of his surroundings, and he seems to be feeling better. 

When it comes to Brio's mom, the group said it wasn't sure what happened to her. Someone saw him with her a couple of weeks ago. It's possible Brio's mother waned him or left him on his own because she knew he was sick. It also is possible she died.

Staff members said they had been watching for her, but the area where she and Brio live is extremely remote and tough to access. Had Brio not shown up in a more populated area, there's a real possibility the Corolla Wild Horse Fund wouldn't have known he was in trouble and staff members wouldn't have gotten to him to help him. 

The group said if anyone wanted to assist with Brio's care and rehabilitation, people can donate directly through its Facebook page and that 100% of the proceeds go to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, with no money taken out.

Contributions also can be made through the group's website. All you have to do is write "Brio" in the notes/comments section.

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