Marc Bekoff, an animal behavior expert, said there’s no doubt that ponies grieve. As for whether that’s exactly what the ponies were doing at the moment this photo was snapped, it’s hard to say without seeing their movements, he added, but noted that “the corpse of their dead friend surely has piqued their curiosity.”
Whatever the ponies were thinking as they gazed at Hazel Hill Scrap’s body, her death is a huge loss, Simmons said.
“This pony and her breed lines are irreplaceable,” Simmons explained. “She [would] have bred the next generation, and this has been lost now. This doesn’t help the New Forest pony — as of 2014, it’s been added to the rare breeds survival trust list. We really should be getting more awareness of the breed and its ancient habitat before it risks being lost forever.”