A brave mare named Prieta ran back to her stable amid wildfires in the U.S. state of California to save her family from burning to death.
Horses are flight animals, which typically flee in the face of danger. But for this courageous mare, the herd instinct prevailed. The strong bonds horses maintain with their herd save them in the wilderness, as they are safer in numbers when being attacked by prey.
When the California wildfires approached her Simi Valley barn, however, the mare did not take flight but ran straight towards the danger. Video footage has shown how the dark horse fought her way through the blaze of the Easy Fire to pull a horse and 2-month-old foal out of the stable. The foal, Onyx, is Prieta’s granddaughter.
Prieta managed to save her herd
Fortunately, the brave mare managed to free her panicked herd from the path of the wildfire. Subsequently, Prieta, Onyx, and her mother Mona Lisa were safely relocated to a stable in Los Angeles.
Experts say horse is not necessarily ‘saving’ others
A local equine veterinarian, Betsy Connolly tweeted about the incident saying ‘horses seek their herd mates when frightened,’ and adds that this ‘is why a lone horse will run back into a burning barn’. She also wrote ‘Only the most alpha stallion or mare will take point when in danger. Horses live by the code: Stronger together.’ Even if Prieta just displayed herd behavior, the horse’s courage touched many hearts.