Cape of Goodhope SPCA chief inspector Jaco Pieterse was in for a major surprise when he was called to Manenberg on the evening of March 2 to find a helpless male horse stuck and terrified in a river.

“We suspect that Thunder has been stolen from his owner and ridden into the ground before being cruelly tied to the side of the river to drown. Thunder was sinking deeper into the clay soil and a rescue strategy was rapidly put in place to free him safely,” the SPCA said in a statement. “Our team struggled for more than an hour to bring Thunder to safety. He was exceptionally weak and almost ready to give up. Chief Inspector Pieterse and his team however, were absolutely not ready to give up on this boy.”

Rescuers helping to free Thunder from the riverbank (Source: CoGH SPCA)

The City of Cape Town’s Fire & Rescue arrived to assist in the rescue efforts and in one last attempt, with help from bystanders, finally managed to free Thunder from the river bank.

Source: CoGH SPCA

Thunder is now safely in the care of the CoGH SPCA where he has received treatment and is being monitored in its Horse Care Unit. “Mannenberg is a highly volatile and dangerous area – normally our Inspectors will avoid this area after dark, however we could not leave this horse to suffer and the decision was clear despite the safety concerns. We never give up on an animal. Thank you to Fire and Rescue and the bystanders for assisting us in this rescue and showing compassion to an animal in need,” the SPCA said.

Source: CoGH SPCA

“Today we can report that Thunder is doing so much better- he has a few bumps and bruises from his ordeal. We have treated him with a course of pain medication to help ease his stiff hind quarters,” it added.

Please report any animal in distress to the CoGH SPCA on 021 7004158/9 or after hours on 083 326 1604. Alternatively email [email protected] for assistance.

Picture: Supplied

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.