They expected plastic bottles and trash but not a horse

Volunteer offers the horse some food.

There is no telling what volunteers might find when they do a river cleanup. Volunteers last weekend found an injured white horse trapped by rocks, the Río Tibás and trees. The animal appeared to have had several days without decent food and only the heavily polluted river water to drink.

The volunteers were from the Comité Bandera Azul Ecológica de San Miguel de Santo Domingo, which is conducting a continual cleanup of the river. This time they gathered 10 sacks of plastic and other trash in a stretch from Poza de Tururun to Los Angeles.

The horse was a surprise. Volunteers said they managed to help the animal across the river, and the animal went off to pastures in Los Angeles de Santo Domingo. However, the volunteers urged owners to keep track of their animals.

The horse was not the only surprise. Volunteers said they found a pump that they had reported to authorities a year ago. The pump appears to be used in agriculture, bringing the heavily polluted river water to a nearby field for use on vegetables. The volunteers said the river is so polluted the water is not even fit for this use and to pump pollution on human foods is a health risk. They said they would urge municipal officials to take greater interest in their complaint.

Like a scene from some fairy tale a lone white horse awaits rescue alongside the Río Tibás. Photo: Comité Bandera Azul Ecológica de San Miguel de Santo Domingo

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