Twenty horses have been snowed in on the mountains of Epirus in Western Greece and their lives were at risk due to heavy snow and lack of grazing opportunities. A huge rescue operation was set up to move the horses in safety.
The horses were trapped in the snow in the slopes of Gavrogo mountain that rises above Skoulikaria in the region of Arta. in some ares the snow is higher than one meter.
The twenty semi-wild horses, of Pindos breed, have been trapped in the snow for the last fifteen days. Their owner had failed to bring them in safety in time.
Snow in the slopes was one to one and a half meter high in some areas around eighty centimeters.
The owner joined the SAR operation with bags full of food. He said they managed to survive grazing on bushes. The horses moved to him the moment he arrived and started to call on them.
After the heavy snow falls of mid January, the rain that was expecting to melt the snow did not come.
The horses remained in the slopes, their supply with food and water became impossible.
To the owner’s appeal to rescue the horses, the local mayor responded with a rescue operation in cooperation of the Civil Protection of Epirus, the EMAK , the Special division SAR of the Fire Bridges and many local volunteers who knew the area and their duty was to help finding the horses.
Saturday morning the huge Search and Rescue Operation was launched.
The horses had found shelter under the large trees were covering the mountain slopes.
An EMAK vehicle cleared and opened the way, the horses were lead to a safe place, in a shelter with a fence.
The owner thanked the municipality and all rescuers involved and they thanked each other.
The horses live in semi-wild state, are part of the regional tradition and the natural environment.
Their protection is a must. And so it happened 🙂