Wild horses are a thing of beauty, and many people travel to see them every year. Whether it’s the Chincoteague ponies or the wild horses of Patagonia, people come from far and wide to witness their unique presence.
Horses are versatile creatures that adapt well to many areas, which is why there are populations of wild horses in places where there used to be none. Patagonian horses, in particular, are descended from domesticated horses.
According to Azureazure, the horses in parts of Chile and Argentina are guessed to be from stock that was abandoned, for whatever reason.
A similar and relatively recent phenomenon has happened in parts of Arizona when miners left their donkeys behind after the gold rush, creating herds of “wild” donkeys that roam the desert at will.
Wild horses in the United States were introduced hundreds of years ago, have taken well to the plains, and can be found in several states, but especially in Nevada.
But unlike their cousins in the United States, Patagonian horses do have a predator: the puma. Many wild horse populations in the U.S. grow out of control because they have no natural predators, but the puma preys especially on the weak and young, and keeps Patagonian horse populations in check.
The puma is so involved with horses that according to the Cascada Expediciones website, foal survival rate is less than 20 percent. While that may seem sad to some, it keeps the herds strong and regulated.
But these giant cats are not the only danger for Patagonian horses, as this video shows: there are plenty of everyday mishaps that can lead to disaster if no one intervenes.
It was Hugo Martinez and his friends who first spotted trouble, according to MSN. As they drove across the Rio Negro, Argentina, countryside, they saw something against a fence off the side of the road.
It was a horse, laid out on its side and seemingly exhausted, that had gotten its back leg stuck in a fence. There were deep grooves in the earth from the horse trying to free itself, but with no success.
The men worked at the fence, being careful to stay away from the horse’s hooves. They managed to untangle the fence from the horse’s back leg, but the horse didn’t realize it had been freed, and didn’t make any real attempt to get up.
It took a few well-meant smacks from one of the rescuers to get the horse to rouse itself and test its feet out. After a little stumbling, the horse found its balance and was off — but not before looking back at the men.
Thanks to their intervention, this horse escaped what could have been a drawn-out and miserable death and was free to roam the plains once again.
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