A pony had a lucky escape after he was found next to a major motorway in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
The colt, thought to be just six months old, was spotted roaming loose by a driver earlier this month on a slip road that runs parallel to the M606 motorway.
The driver called the RSPCA for urgent help and the colt, now nicknamed ‘Wilbur’, is on the road to recovery.
RSPCA inspector Sophie John was the attending officer at the scene. She says: “When I took the call about a pony loose so close to such a busy road, I knew I’d have to get there as quickly as possible.
"Not only was he in danger himself, but he posed a serious risk to drivers too. Lots of lorries go up and down that road heading for the motorway, so it was of huge concern to me.”
Once caught, it was clear to see that Wilbur’s health was deteriorating. Under his thick shaggy coat of muddy matted hair, he had a body condition score of just 1.5 out of 5 making him among the thinnest ponies the RSPCA inspectors see.
He was also suffering with a swollen belly, thought to be caused by an enormous worm burden, and a suspected chest infection.
Jacqui Wilson, RSPCA equine rehoming officer, said: “Despite his shaky start in life and his close call roaming beside a motorway, Wilbur’s now safely tucked up in a cosy stable, getting all the care he needs.
“He’s being treated for the large amount of worms he is suffering with and though he is severely thin and malnourished, we're confident we rescued him in time and he will make a good recovery.
“He’s a lovely, friendly little boy and I hope that one day he can be adopted by a loving family who will appreciate him.”
Anyone who finds an animal loose on the road should always contact the police straight away, due to the high risks posed to member of the public.
Wilbur was not microchipped and very little information is known about where he came from. Anyone with any information should call the RSPCA inspector’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
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