Witnessing the birth of a wild foal

Witnessing the birth of a wild foal

April 16, 2020

I supposed to be travelling now. Exploring Belize, diving the epic Blue Hole, hoping for a full moon encounter with whalesharks, searching for Maya ruins in the jungle, a quest for the elusive jaguar. I was so excited about this trip. And I’m so disppointed I can’t travel to Belize. Over a year I saved money for this trip, I planned it for months. Now I only can’t go, I’m also loosing the money.

But this world health crisis is something we can’t control. I’m still healthy, so are my loved ones. And instead of being sad and disappointed, I choose to see this time of selfisolation and staying at home as much needed time for mother nature to rest and recover. It’s okay to be sad for a while about missing my trip. Still I choose to control my thoughts, I train my mind for peace and purpose. I still can choose how to spend my time in self-isloation and I still can choose to enjoy my day. As we navigate our way through these uncertain and challenging times, it’s important to focus on the positive. Still many positive things happen.

These days, most of the time I am working from home. Yesterday I needed to go to work to record some online lessons about working in a museum. I went there a few hours earlier to have a long walk in Munnikenland, the nature reserve surrounding the castle. I met a fellow wildlife photographer to investigate a new fox den. On our way to the den we ran in to the herd Konikpaarden, the wild horses that inhabit the Munnikenland. The koniks were restless. Males were fighting, a few females were running around. Then we saw what made the leading stallion restless. There was a mare in labour. We were so lucky to be in the right time in the right place. This must have been the reason why we both were half an hour too early at the spot where we would meet!

That morning we witnessed the birth of a foal from the very beginning. We saw the mare in labour, we saw the foal being born. We watched him free himself from the membranes. We witnessed his 15 minute struggle to get up for the first time, using those clumsy long legs. We saw the stallion getting impatient, urging his herd to move further. And then we saw the new mother, who had not yet lost the afterbirth, and her baby leave with their family. Living wild and free.

Yes, I should have been diving in Belize now, but instead I had the privilege a herd of wild horses allowing me in their midst during the delivery of a new member. What a miracle to witness!


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