Foal rescued by firefighters from River Lea in Chingford

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The foal after being rescued from the river (London Fire Brigade) The foal after being rescued from the river (London Fire Brigade)

A two-day-old foal was rescued by firefighters from the River Lea on Friday.

The black and white foal, named Steve by firefighters, fell into the water near Lower Hall Lane in Chingford, and was trapped by the river’s 12ft banks.

Emergency services were called at 7am and it took them around two hours to rescue the foal.

Firefighters managed to catch the colt - a male foal - which was less than 3ft tall, walk him along the towpath to an accessible part of the riverbank, and lift him up the steep bank.

The London Fire Brigade said Steve was shivering and suffering from hypothermia, but firefighters managed to warm him up with blankets before he fell asleep on the riverbank.

He is now being cared for by a vet and RSPCA staff.

Jamie Jenkins, an animal rescue trained station manager for the London Fire Brigade, said: “The vet said that he was in a surprisingly good condition considering he fell into the river and was in the water for hours.”

The vet has taken him into her practice and is currently treating him with antibiotics.

A specialist animal rescue crew from Dagenham plus 14 firefighters and officers from Edmonton and Chingford fire stations, took part in the rescue.

The crew was unable to locate Steve’s owner because he had no identification markings and had walked a substantial distance in the water.

If you have any information regarding Steve’s owner, call the Guardian on 01992 57 22 85

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