OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WAVY) — The Corolla Wild Horse Fund says it removed a horse from the wild on Saturday and separated her from her colt to treat a wound that’s been an issue for about a year.

The wild horse fund posted information about the rescue on Monday, saying the rescue — which was in the works for a year — was “difficult” and “emotional.”

The horse rescued Saturday is named Lizzie. She sustained an injury to her knee after her foal, Alex, was born last year.

The horse fund said the injury didn’t heal, but Lizzie was otherwise in good condition and taking care of Alex. After a consultation with a vet, the group decided to leave Lizzie and Alex in the wild until Alex was older and weaned, instead of uprooting both the mare and her foal.

Saturday was the day Lizzie was finally removed from the beach after being monitored for most of last summer and fall.

The group said they stopped being able to track Lizzie and Alex after they “disappeared deep into the marsh” in the early winter. Despite regular searches, they were unable to find the pair — until Friday, when they got a call from a resident who had been helping the group search.

The resident said Lizzie and Alex were in her yard.

On Saturday, the group went to rescue Lizzie in the Carova Beach area, blowing two tires on their horse trailer and beach truck in the process.

“[I]t was very difficult (emotionally) for us to separate her from Alex even though we knew he would be ok, but at the end of the day Lizzie walked right up onto the trailer like she had known the plan all along,” the Corolla Wild Horse Fund posted on Facebook. “She did an amazing job raising a big, strong, healthy colt and now it was her turn to be taken care of. Alex was understandably upset but seems to be adjusting just fine.”

The group said Alex was “understandably upset” but is adjusting fine. The fund commented on its post and said the colt was taken to a different area of the beach that’s less populated. He was released in an area that mostly has older mares and a couple young stallions.

After Lizzie was rescued, it was determined she likely has a fungal infection, which will require surgery at North Carolina State University. She should be transported there in a week or so once she learns how to be handled and led at the rescue farm.

Lizzie is already taking antibiotics and has pre-operation X-rays scheduled. Lizzie stands quietly as her wound is cleaned and medicated daily.

The rescue is also aiming to help Lizzie to gain some weight before surgery.

In its post, the group gave thanks to those who helped replace tires and find Lizzie and Alex.

The group also thanked the veterinarian who helped talk them through the “emotional” separation of Lizzie and Alex.

“And finally, our staff deserves major kudos for jumping into action early Saturday morning and getting the job done despite all the difficulties,” the group said in its post.

The rescue said it would keep its followers posted on Lizzie’s condition and recovery.

“She’s young and otherwise seems to be in good health so we are very cautiously optimistic but don’t want to get ahead of ourselves yet. All of this could change in an instant, but we want to be as open and transparent as possible every step of the way. This is going to be a long journey for Lizzie,” the group said.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is asking for donations toward Lizzie’s treatment. To donate, go to the group’s website.