Elsa, the Utah horse found frozen to the ground, dies
S. Utah • She and her mother had been recovering since they were discovered Jan. 2.
Published: January 19, 2014 07:06PM
Updated: January 19, 2014 10:23PM
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(Courtesy photo) Elsa, about one year and a half old, was found frozen to the ground last week in a patch of mud in Enoch. Although vets initially estimated her chance of survival to be about 20 percent, she was able to stand with assistance for some time. However, she died Saturday.

A young horse found frozen to the ground in Enoch has died.

The 1½-year-old filly, later named Elsa, was hypothermic and nearly dead when passers-by discovered her and her starving, abandoned mother on Jan. 2, said Ginger Grimes, of Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses, near Cedar City. The sanctuary took them in, named them after the characters from the Disney film “Frozen” — they named Elsa’s mother Anna — and both seemed to be recovering.

But Saturday afternoon, the sanctuary reported on its Facebook page that Elsa had died, surrounded by the people who worked tirelessly to try to save her.

A horse Elsa’s age typically weighs 700 to 800 pounds, but the ranch found her at only 400 pounds. She was put under 24-hour surveillance and was bouncing back the second week of January. Though the staff initially had to lift Elsa’s head to get her into a sitting position to drink, she grew stronger and was eventually standing and rubbing noses with her mother.

Everyone at the ranch was stunned by the sudden turn for the worst, according to the Saturday post.

Volunteers and donors had rallied to support the horses on Facebook.

“You will never know how your support and encouragement have helped us stay strong,” the sanctuary wrote in its post. “[Elsa] received every single hug and kiss you sent her and Ginger read all of your loving notes to her.”