Horse Named Lucky Rescued From Sinkhole in San Fernando Valley

Horse Named Lucky Rescued From Sinkhole in San Fernando Valley
Los Angeles firefighters rescue Lucky from a sinkhole in Lake View Terrace in the San Fernando Valley on Feb. 21, 2024. (Los Angeles Fire Department)
Jill McLaughlin

Lucky the horse lived up to her name when she was rescued after falling Feb. 21 into a sinkhole in the backyard of a home in Lake View Terrace, about 25 miles north of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Fire Department and city animal rescue crews spent about three hours slowly removing dirt from around the 1,200-pound horse, which was buried up to its neck when rescuers arrived at about 12:30 p.m.

Firefighters worked with bystanders to comfort and protect the horse as they “gingerly” removed soil with shovels, according to the fire department. The animal was fatigued but stayed calm, LAFD Capt. Erik Scott told KTLA 5 News.

“We’re trying to keep her very calm,” Mr. Scott said during the rescue.

Rescuers eventually fitted the horse with a specialized harness that allowed a fire department helicopter to hoist her out of the hole.

“Lucky” and her owner, Maria Lastre, were out on a ride when they suddenly dropped into the sinkhole, her husband Juan Lastre told the local news station.

The horse was back on her feet after the rescue, escaping with only minor cuts and scrapes, Mr. Lastre said.

“I thought she was not going to be able to walk because she was cramped there for three hours,” he told KTLA 5. “It was a big surprise… I just couldn’t believe it.”

The fire department was not able to determine what caused the ground to open up, but noted there had been strong rain storms in the area in recent days.

Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.
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