Suffolk has given birth to a foal of an endangered horse breed that is less common than giant pandas.

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Earlier this month, the Suffolk Punch Trust welcomed the new foal to its location in Hollesley, close to Woodbridge. He was born to mother Dorothy and given the name Illustrious. The two of them are reportedly doing well. An iconic breed of the country, the severely endangered Suffolk Punch Trust seeks to protect it.

“We’ve been breeding Suffolk Punches here for 260 years, so to introduce new lives here is not uncommon but it always special,” said Tracey Pettitt, who has been a breeder for the trust for 14 years. Because the breed is so vulnerable, these new lives are even more precious.”

“Illustrious is now having the time of his life, and as the season progresses, we want to receive additional babies so that he may play with other young ones. He is Dorothy’s first child, and she has done really well. She is quite proud of him as well. It’s really rare because when she sees someone, she immediately leads him over to the fence so she can show him off and he can receive plenty of attention.”

Less than 500 Suffolk horses exist in the United Kingdom, a far smaller number than the 1,864 giant pandas, which are considered to be critically endangered. According to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s watchlist, they are one of the most vulnerable native horse species in Britain and are categorised as a critically endangered breed.

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