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after the shock, solidarity

On a makeshift bed in the middle of the boxes, Diana Gré, owner of the herd that bears her name, no longer knows whether she is laughing or crying: “Sorry, it’s the nerves that let go“. In six days, she had not slept much. At the beginning of the week, a few horses fell ill. Various symptoms. A first horse died, then a second and another. In all, 12 of their animals died from poisoning.

The veterinarian announces the verdict: poisoning with Adonis, a very toxic plant. She was in a bale of hay from which almost all the horses ate.

“Dozens and dozens of support messages”

Aurélie came with her daughter Lydia: “I am very often here, my daughter loves horses so as soon as I saw the Facebook post, we decided to come, to lend our arms. It is terrible what is happening to them.

This horse, sick yesterday, is stabilized today. He has a bandage to hold his catheter. © Radio France
Juliette Pierre

Like all the volunteers who have come to the manade since the tragedy, she has only one question: “How to help?” Today, they are going to clean and fill the water troughs.

For 24 hours, the situation of the horses is stabilized. No death this Sunday, a little lull in the storm which gives Isabelle time to think about the last few days.

The owner’s mother still can’t believe it: “Jreceived dozens and dozens of messages. People were bringing in fly spray, horse food, blankets because they had to sleep outside, the boxes were requisitioned for sick horses“.

The boxes have been transformed into hospital rooms for sick horses.
The boxes have been transformed into hospital rooms for sick horses. © Radio France
Juliette Pierre

The voice strangled by emotionshe promises:In due time, we’ll do something to thank them all. Every time I saw someone coming to help, I cried“.

makeshift hospital

For five days, on-site veterinarian take care of the horses. To help her, apprentice veterinarians trained on the job, like Marie, a friend of Diana. She’s been there since day one:

It was a real crisis unit. We had to watch the horses, check their temperatures, their mucous membranes, fill the hydration pockets… Everything was urgent, as in a parallel world. It made me think of the Covid, a bit: we had to go as fast as possible, to avoid any new dead horses. Marie, a friend of Diana who came as reinforcements.

And sometimes there is beautiful stories, like that of Centaur, a white Camargue horse. “Centaur, no one would have bet on him, he was too sick. We thought about euthanizing him several times because he was in too much pain. We didn’t think it was going to last, but it did! Today, he drinks, he eats and he annoys his boyfriend. Usually when we play, it’s because we’re better!”

A miracle that gives hope to volunteers, but also to horses, Marie is convinced: “they feel it.”

Centaur is a survivor.  Everyone thought he wasn't going to survive.
Centaur is a survivor. Everyone thought he wasn’t going to survive. © Radio France
Juliette Pierre

“I’m not going to lie, we need money”

Isabelle knows it: once all the horses are back, another problem will arise: how to recover from such a disaster?

“There are veterinary costs: we haven’t calculated everything yet but it will be around ten, fifteen thousand euros… We will also have to compensate the owners whose horses have died, we don’t know yet if the insurance will take care of it. And then above all, for the moment, none of our horses is able to resume our activities. Isabelle Gré, the mother of the owner of the herd

Dozens of people came to bring food for the volunteers, who are there day and night.
Dozens of people came to bring food for the volunteers, who are there day and night. © Radio France
Juliette Pierre

The future worries Isabelle: “I’ll be honest: we need the money now. I thank everyone who has been able and who can still help us

A kitty has been set up to help the Gré manade.

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