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Tiny newborn Salt River wild horse rescued by nonprofit group

(Facebook Screenshot/Salt River Wild Horse Management Group)

PHOENIX — Volunteers are caring around the clock for a tiny Salt River wild horse that was found alone in the Tonto National Forest.

He was overheated, dehydrated and couldn’t stand up when the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group came to the rescue.

The nonprofit group picked up the newborn in the Coon Bluff area Tuesday after being alerted by a call to its hotline.

The little guy weighed only 33 pounds, about half the weight of a normal newborn foal and the smallest the group ever had seen.

“We sent our field team out right away and we found that this was a tiny, tiny premature baby, just born, and we found out from some bystanders that it had been there for six hours” Simone Netherlands, president of the nonprofit, said in an update posted Friday on the group’s website.

The baby’s mother wasn’t located after a day of searching.

He is being cared for in Netherlands’ house. Volunteers have been sleeping next to him on the floor because he needs to be fed every hour.

“He’s inside in the air conditioning, but then we cover him up with little blanket and we monitor his temperature with a thermometer,” Netherlands said. “If we put him outside right now, he’d probably be dead in an hour.”

The group — which is dedicated to monitoring, studying and protecting the Salt River wild horses — is holding a naming contest for anybody who signs up to sponsor the foal for $10 a month.

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