Wild Horse Dies During Rescue Mission in Paynes Prairie
A horse rescue ended on a sad note in Paynes Prairie Sunday afternoon.
A 5-month old wild spanish cracker filly is dead after attempts by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office and other agencies to save her from the marsh.
The horse was part of the wild herd that lives in Paynes Prairie, affectionally called the "west-side roamies" by some visitors.
Officials say the horse was pushed further into the swamp by gators, but she survived the night.
This morning, the team decided to make the rescue attempt.
They say they were close but the filly began to hyperventilate and ultimately stopped breathing.
A frequent visitor to the park says he saw gators attack the horse.
"There were smaller alligators--five to seven feet long-- they were making like faux attacks, and they were just trying to tire her out, which they were doing. Then a ten-foot gator came in and, twice, he made a serious attack on her," said witness Glen Graham.
Graham is no stranger to the "west-side roamies."
He often takes pictures of them and has catalogued the herd. He had named the filly that died Sunday, "Blaze."
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