New Forest officials offer £5,000 reward to catch hit-and-run killer of six-week-old foal that died in front of his grieving mother
- Young male horse abandoned on the roadside in the New Forest after car crash
- Forestry official Robert Mason forced to put the animal down due to its injuries
- Verderers of the New Forest have now put up a £5,000 reward for information
A £5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of a six-week-old foal left for dead in a brutal hit and run.
The male horse was abandoned on the roadside in the New Forest following a collision with a car that failed to stop.
Forestry official Robert Mason was alerted to the badly wounded foal and he was forced to put down the animal due to the extent of his injuries.
Heartbreaking photographs later show the fallen animal’s mother standing beside it, nudging the six-week-old with her nose.
The Verderers of the New Forest – which runs the Hampshire National Park – have put up a £5,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.
Heartbreaking photographs show a dead foal’s mother standing beside it, nudging the six-week-old with her nose, after it was hit by a car in the New Forest
The male horse was abandoned on the roadside in the New Forest following a collision with a car that failed to stop. Pictured: New Forest horses
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is a legal requirement to report any road accident which causes damage to any animal.
It is also an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to leave any animal injured and suffering.
Mr Mason said: ‘When I found it the foal was stood up with its mother but it had a horrific gash in its back thigh – a huge wound that was beyond repair.
‘Unfortunately we don’t know how long it had been there. Somebody has done this to the foal and driven off. He could have been there all night.
‘The kindest thing to do was to put him down.
‘The mare was obviously distressed when she realised the foal was lying on the ground after it had been shot.
‘The moment she knew the foal was deceased the shock kicked in. That’s when she came over and said her last goodbye.
An estimated 5,000 ponies and horses roam freely in the New Forest (above), with around 50 animals killed in road traffic collisions last year
The New Forest Verderers began offering rewards to encourage witnesses to co-operate with police last year
‘It’s very important to let the mother come over rather than just taking a foal away from a screaming mare. Its closure for her. It helps her move on with her life.
‘It’s very sad that she had been carrying him for 11 months and rearing him for six weeks.
‘I appreciate there will always be accidents but people shouldn’t just leave an animal to suffer and let someone else find it.
‘I can’t think of any reason why someone wouldn’t report it.’
An estimated 5,000 ponies and horses roam freely in the New Forest, with around 50 animals killed in road traffic collisions last year.
The New Forest Verderers began offering rewards to encourage witnesses to co-operate with police last year.
Mr Mason said: ‘We do it to give people an incentive to come forward, but if anyone out there knows about who did this, they should give a name regardless of the money.
‘I hope the police take them to court and prosecute them and that’s no more than what they deserve.’
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