In an extremely sad yet heartwarming video, a herd of horses are shown gathering around a dead mare who died giving birth to a foal, as if both mourning her death and expressing their final respects.
On the Facebook page of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, the video shows separate bands of wild horses, along the Salt River in Arizona, lining up as they slowly walk by the body of a two-year-old dun mare referred to as Clydette. The mare died after her foal became stuck in the birth canal during delivery. The organization rushed their veterinarian out to the area to help, but by the time they arrived, Clydette had gone into septic shock and died – the foal also dying because she was just stuck too long.
As the veterinarian team moved away from Clydette’s breathless body, her band arrived and nuzzled her, after which the roan, her lead stallion, cried out for her very loudly. Shortly after that, they moved away from her body, but stayed close. Other bands heard and somehow knew exactly where the mare was and what had occurred:
“What happened next was amazing; the other bands stood in line taking turns saying their goodbyes. First one band, then another. Then the two lead stallions of those two bands got into a short power struggle. Then you can see how Clydette’s lead stallion comes running back one last time letting out a short scream in a last effort to protect her, or perhaps to tell everyone that she was his.”
“It takes a most highly intelligent species to understand and actually mourn death. We have seen bands mourn their losses before, but for other bands to come and mourn her death also was simply awe inspiring. These animals have evolved to have amazing survival skills and very close and protective family bonds. In this natural behavior, lies true scientific value.”
This video was taken after her own band had walked away, approximately 30 minutes after she died. Many thanks to the person who called in this emergency.
Rest in peace Clydette and little Tootie.
The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group is an Arizona based non profit Organization (501c3), set up to protect and preserve the Salt River Wild Horses. To donate, please click here.
(Photo and video of wild horses gather courtesy of Salt River Wild Horse Management)
Watch the video here. Draw your own conclusions as to the horses reactions.