Young pony in Welsh hotspot falls off cliff and dies thanks to selfie takers

Young pony in Welsh hotspot falls off cliff and dies thanks to selfie takers
Drone Saves the Life of Missing Pony
ZMG - Buzz60 / VideoElephant

A young pony fell off a cliff and died thanks to people taking selfies, a farmer has said.

Nicky Beynon, who has a farm in Gower, Swansea, has asked people not to go near ponies after one died in April and others saw harassment from people taking photos and trying to touch them.

He told the BBC the pony's mother gave birth "a couple-hundred yards" from the cliff edge, and people were crowding them "trying to take photographs and forced her closer and closer to the edge".

"All of a sudden the new-born is staggering to its feet, trying to learn how to stand up, and trips over the edge," he said.

"The mare who lost her foal over the cliff, she's quite a sharp sort of sensitive mare. The foal had gone over about half an hour before I found her and she was just going ballistic.

"She knew the foal had just vanished."

The farmer said he had to take all his mares home after the incident so they could foal safely.

Speaking about tourists, he added: "They all want to take a photograph, but they don't realise what they're doing - the amount of stress they're putting on the animal."

It is not the first time Beynon has been bothered by tourists. In 2022, he was forced to remove the ponies from the headland because someone had flown a drone "about 10ft above her".

The pony "couldn't make out where this noise was coming from and she was sort of spinning around," he said.

Mr Beynon said the man controlling the drone could not grasp the stress he was putting the pony under.

"There are people flying drones there every day, and these things are capable of filming from hundreds of feet away, the same thing with zoom lenses," he said. "There's no need to touch the horse or get so close."

The National Coastwatch Institution, based on the cliff, said it is having to issue warnings on a daily basis for people to stay back from the ponies.

And the National Trust conservation charity has asked visitors to stick to the countryside code - the guidelines designed to help the public enjoy outside spaces.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)