The dramatic rescue of a wild horse from Trout Creek in Summerland, B.C., by local fire crews and volunteers over the weekend was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube.
According to the O.A.T.S. Horse Rescue Facebook page, the horse — believed to be around six months old — was spotted exhausted and suffering from hypothermia in the raging waters on Saturday by a woman out walking her dogs.
She called O.A.T.S. Horse Rescue, whose volunteers were joined by the Summerland Fire Department and local RCMP, who worked tirelessly to save the feral filly from the creek.
The eight-minute video, uploaded by Theresa Nolet, shows the gruelling work by the rescue team to pull the animal out of the creek.
Rescuers managed to put a noose around the horse's head, but it came off after the frightened animal, unused to human handling, struggled free, leaving her farther out in the current.
"If she had gotten out into the middle of the creek, it would have been game over," Nolet told CBC News, noting that the animal had been in the icy water for several hours.
Firefighters with ropes tied around their waists waded into the fast-moving creek and eventually lassoed the horse.
Exhausted animal collapses
At this point the flagging beast collapsed on the edge of the creek bank and refused to be roused to her feet.
A large sheet of plywood covered in a tarp was slipped under the horse, and rescuers heaved her up onto the plywood stretcher and dry land.
Wrapped in a blanket and encouraged to stand, the shivering horse, later named River by her rescuers, was led away from the creek and taken into foster care by O.A.T.S. Horse Rescue to be nursed back to health.