Malta
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Pony rescued from narrow water canal following one-storey fall

A pony was rescued from a narrow water canal by the Civil Protection Department on Monday morning after falling headfirst into the tunnel.

In a Facebook post, the CPD said its control room received a call about the pony, which fell a height of around one storey in Naxxar, at around 9.15am. 

The small horse had broken through an electric fence and ran across a field, only to trip headfirst into a deep-water canal.

The pictures posted on CPD’s social media show the pony trapped in the narrow canal, with a visible bruise on its leg.

Graham Attard, one of the eight rescuers who took part in the operation, said that the canal - in a field close to a Naxxar elderly home - was only 35 centimetres wide. 

Attard, an architect and rescue officer, said the team consisted of four members from the Xemxija station and another four, including himself, from the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) station. 

“Since the pony fell into a one-storey high canal, we needed to bring a high-up so that we could safely get her out,” he told Times of Malta.  

He said that while a vet was still on their way to the site, the team decided to act fast since the animal was on her back and they did not want her to suffer further injuries.

“One of the main challenges we experienced was that since the pony landed on her back and was conscious during the rescue, our rescuers had to dodge a few kicks from her.”

He said one rescuer and the father of the pony's owner climbed down the canal and tied straps to the animal’s legs, while the other rescuers pulled her up safely. The whole operation took an hour.

Once safely on land, the members covered the pony's eyes to calm her down, and after resting for a few minutes, she was back on her feet. 

"She only had a few scratches on her body, no broken bones or anything. She was very lucky," he said. 

"We watched her gallop and walk around like nothing had happened to her," Attard said.