A PONY'S maternal instincts kicked in when she met three orphaned lambs.

Heidi, a ten-year-old Welsh mountain pony, has fostered the baby sheep and has even been feeding them.

Somerset County Gazette:

Heidi is on loan to Becky Popham, who lives in Somerset with her three daughters, aged ten, nine and five.

Becky introduced Heidi to four-week-old lambs Prince, Dewdrop and George after buying them from a farmer.

Somerset County Gazette:

"I put them in with her because she wasn't worried about them," said Becky, who bottle feeds the lambs three times a day.

"Heidi started by lying down with them and from there they started standing under her.

"She then started licking them and she's producing a little bit of milk to feed them.

"Her maternal instincts have just kicked in."

Somerset County Gazette:

Heidi, who had a foal about five years ago, has been staying with Becky and her daughter for about three months.

"I might try to buy her because she's got my heart now," said Becky.

Somerset County Gazette:

"What she's doing with the lambs is so rare. I've only heard of it happening once before.

Somerset County Gazette: "I'm home educating my girls at the moment and part of that is them learning how to look after baby lambs."