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Healthy foal born to mare badly hurt in Cottonwood Fire

Ember was born healthy on Jan. 6, 2018, to a mare that was badly injured in the October Cottonwood Fire, south of Bakersfield, Calif. Caretakers doubted the pregnancy would last after the mother suffered severe trauma and burns. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

A baby horse born early Saturday morning at Easy Moon stables west of Bakersfield is being heralded as a miracle after surviving a pregnancy that could have been severely compromised by injuries to the mother.

The foal's parents were each badly burned in the October Cottonwood Fire south of Bakersfield that claimed the lives of dozens of other horses.

Lacking the means to provide sufficient care for the mare, her owner donated her to Easy Moon, where a team of caretakers including Cecile Audinet worked together to nurse the expectant mother back to health.

They received help from veterinarians at University of California, Davis.

Shortly after the fire, many doubted that the horse could complete the pregnancy. Audinet says she had doubts right up to the birth that the foal would be healthy. But it was.

"It was the first time I witness a horse being born and I have to say it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen," she said.

The foal, with a coat of black fur, was given the name Ember, a reference to the fire which she survived. She's healthy, energetic and a magnet for onlookers.

"She's such a time waster, we spend all day just watching her and playing with her," Audinet said.

In addition to the vets at UC Davis, Audinet also wished to thank the nonprofit, Pet Matchmaker, for assisting with gathering donations. She said hundreds of people made donations of food, medicine or money along the way.

As for the mother, who remains scarred from her brush with death, the owners are considering a career for her as a therapy animal.

Ember's father, a stallion named "The Boss," has also been featured on Eyewitness News. He also beat long odds to survive the fire.

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