A miniature pony has miraculously survived devastating floods in Japan, seeking refuge on a roof.
When the flood waters receded in the town of Mabi, southern Japan, the miniature pony was found stranded on the rooftop of a riverside home.
Leaf, who is a nine-year-old mare, is used as a therapy animal by the Life Town Mabi organisation that offers care for old age pensioners at its base in the town of Mabi.
The pony lived at a farm with goats and other animals and was last seen being swept away by floods after disappearing into rain swollen river.
Staff at the centre feared for Leaf’s welfare and were concerned the much-loved mare had drowned. The centre sent a search party to look for Leaf, but were unable to find her.
However, in a surprising twist, worker Mari Tanimoto, 49, later received a call to say that Leaf had been found on the roof of a local home.
She was covered in mud and had injured one of her legs.
Residents are baffled as to how she ended up on the roof, insisting the water levels never rose high enough to leave her there.
Rescuing the pony from the roof posed a problem. Locals fed the mare carrots in order to keep her calm while they devised a strategy that eventually involved bringing her in through a window.
Ms Tanimoto said despite the difficulties, she was so happy to see the tiny horse that she cried when they were reunited.
Another centre worker Masayuki Yoshida, 48, said: “I thought that she was already dead, but luckily she seems to have survived on the roof.”