The orphan foal rescued from Far North sand dunes has been put down following a 12-day battle for her life.
A wild foal found dying at Ahipara beach by Northland horsewoman Kelly Wilson had been expected to make a full recovery following "mind-blowing" support from the Northland public.
But Wilson posted on Facebook on Thursday that they decided to put the filly down.
"Last night we said a very sad goodbye to our wild orphan Lioness," Wilson posted.
"After 12 days battling for her life we made the decision for the vet to put her down. A huge thank you to my family, friends, the amazing SPCA and DOC personnel, and the vets that worked with Lioness... it's been a huge team effort and very many sleepless nights. It's not the outcome we were expecting or hoping for, but thanks to everyone's support and donations we were able to give her the best care possible and a fighting chance, and that's all anyone can ask for."
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Wilson was holidaying with family and friends in the lead up to New Year when she came across the young filly on the beach near Ahipara on December 29.
The foal – named Lioness for her fighting spirit – was severely dehydrated and weak, was unable to stand, and was covered in pressure sores from laying down for so long. She was also covered in ticks and lice.
Reports from locals indicate the 10-12 week old filly could have been without a mother for up to two weeks, Wilson said.
Lioness' mother was likely dead, as she could not be found, she said.
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Over $3700 was raised via Givealittle with funds paying for vet costs. Money left over will go towards saving wild Kaimanawas from the 2020 muster.
There are an estimated 1200-2000 wild horses in the Far North, with many living up and down the Aupouri forest and along 90 Mile Beach and other coastal spots including Mitimiti and Spirits Bay.
The horses are primarily based in Aupouri Forest which is owned by Te Hiku iwi group and managed by Summit Forests New Zealand.
Wilson and her sisters Amanda and Vicky are well-known in New Zealand for their work rehoming and taming wild Kaimanawa horses and starred in the TV series Keeping Up with the Kaimanawas.
Earlier this week Wilson said public support has been "inspiring".
"It's blown my mind how much public support we've had. It's made it possible to give this little foal the best treatment possible."