Deflated unicorn balloon causes injury to 9 month old foal in Quainton

Esme Humpston, from Quainton wants to warn people of the dangers of littering in the countryside.

Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 9:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 9:10 am
Esme's yearling at 7 months old

Just last week a child's unicorn shaped balloon blew into a field in Quainton where Esme's 9 year old yearling was quietly grazing.

The balloon became tangled around the young horse's neck causing it to panic.

Following a series of twists and turns in a bid to escape, the foal tried to jump out of the field and got caught up in a post.

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The offending balloon

The young horse was shipped off to Aylesbury's Hampden Vets for more than three hours of surgery.

Esme Humpston, said: "I thought i'd share this with the Bucks Herald to highlight the dangers to wild stock caused by balloons and party items.

"Animal deaths caused by Chinese Lanterns are well documented, but other items people throw away can be hugely dangerous to livestock.

"The balloon became tangled around the yearling's neck and in a panic, she's got caught up in the post around the field as she tried to get loose.

Esme's foal had to have stitches and a drain after the accident

"She was in the vets for more than three hours, and we're not sure she will make a full recovery for at least several weeks.

"And following that, she's going to need 3-6 months of physio to make a full recovery."

Esme wants to raise awareness of the dangers caused by helium balloons, which can travel for miles if just released into the air.

She added: "The great irony is, the owner of the unicorn balloon probably loves horses!

"Yet they won't realise the dangers they have to horses, and the huge damage they have caused to my real life unicorn.

Farming and industry unions, including the NFU and the Soil Association, have repeatedly called for Chinese lanterns and helium balloons to be banned from open spaces.

"Please, think on before you release balloons into the sky - you could be killing livestock nearby."

The foal who is just nine months old had to undergo stitching and have a drain installed, and will likely have to be visited by a vet everyday for a long time.

The Chief Fire Officers’ Association, National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and RSPCA, are all urging people to consider alternatives to sky lanterns. The MCS, RSPCA, RSPB, Keep Britain Tidy and the NFU are also calling for bans on mass balloon releases.

More than 50 local authorities have now banned balloon/lantern releases.