Horses aBeing Rescued by Retired US Marine From a Raging California Wildfire
This retired US Marine has rushed into a new battle, as a volunteer rescuing stranded horses and other livestock.
Tucker Zimmerman has gotten little sleep during the raging deadly fire in Shasta County, California.
“I’m just the guy who moves stuff around,” he said modestly. The “stuff” he speaks of refers to the panicked horses and other livestock he wrangles out of harm’s way when they get left behind after the humans have fled.
With a large trailer borrowed from his job selling tractor equipment, Mr. Zimmerman has ventured daily into various evacuation zones just as homeowners threatened by the Carr Fire were rushing in the other direction.
Saturday, he had just delivered to safety five horses he managed to capture in one newly evacuated area, before receiving a call to pick up others nearby.
The horses were being taken to stables, rodeo grounds and ranches whose owners have opened their property to the steady stream of livestock rescued by Mr. Zimmerman since Wednesday.
“He restored my faith in humanity,” said Noah Urban, an Oregon resident whose stranded 6-year-old horse named Bolt was saved by Mr. Zimmerman. .
Zimmerman is not alone.
Communicating through social media, text messages, radio and word-of-mouth, a network of animal lovers and animal-control authorities have banded together over the past few days to rescue as many stranded critters as possible.
At an outlet mall in nearby Anderson, the din of barking fills an empty storefront used as overflow housing for the animals of Haven Humane Society. Besides their usual charges seeking full-time homes, volunteers were accepting dogs and cats brought in by evacuated residents unable to care for their pets while displaced.
Back at the Cottonwood Creek Ranch, Mr. Zimmerman was in his truck responding to the latest calls for assistance.
“When I was deployed in the military, I couldn’t have animals, but I am an animal lover,” he said.
While Mr. Zimmerman has a proven talent for handling nervous horses, he does not discriminate against 2-legged creatures in need of help.
“I saved a guy named Matt. He was trying to water down his house” as flames erupted, Mr. Zimmerman recalled. “I said, ‘Let’s go!'”
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