January 31 2015 Latest news:
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Meet teeny Tucker – the Miniature Shetland pony, full of bold and boisterous behaviour who stands at just 43cm tall and weighs only 10kg.
The newborn pony, who was born on July 26, is the latest bundle of fun to arrive at Redwings Horse Sanctuary at Hapton, south of Norwich.
According to the team at the sanctuary, what the little fellow lacks in size he makes up with his feisty and naughty ways.
Nicola Markwell, head of external relations, said: “We’ve never seen anything quite so tiny, he doesn’t even come up to your knees.
“He’s full of character, his mum is quite shy and we expected him to take on her traits but he is bold, he has already tried to make escape attempts.”
And rather than let her newborn have some much needed rest, Tucker’s mum Beau wants to keep her son moving so he isn’t vulnerable.
The team at Redwings intervened and provided a safe space for the little one, who reportedly slept the entire day.
Now Tucker, who was named in memory of the husband of a Redwings supporter, is full of energy and causing trouble by trying to escape under the fence, where he is even small enough to fit beneath.
Tucker the lovable troublemaker and his mother are now in a paddock that is within sight of the veterinary unit.
• Miniature Shetland ponies normally grow to 7 to 8 hands high (each hand is roughly 4ins).
• They can live as long as 35 years.
• The ponies grow a second coat to keep warm in the winter which consists of different hairs to the first.
• Unlike little Tucker, Shetlands are normally one colour.
• The ponies at the sanctuary need monitoring to stop them becoming overweight when eating lush Norfolk grass.
• The animal was once popular for coal mining.
• Because they are so clever, some miniature Shetlands have been trained as guides for the blind.
And Miss Markwell said the staff find Tucker’s cute-ways so irresistible that they check on the newborn at any given chance.
She said: “He loves cuddles and tickles, we all desperately want to tickle him but we need to remember he is a pony.”
But she added: “He is already showing signs of being one of the naughty ones.”
Even though the breed is known for being tiny, she warned it is important to not try and fit one in a back garden.
It is hoped that once mother and baby are back to full strength they will take up permanent residence at Redwings’ Ada Cole visitor centre in Harlow.
A second Miniature Shetland mother is due to give birth at the sanctuary and staff are waiting with bated breath to find out if this foal will be even tinier than teeny Tucker.
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