Exmoor ponies gallop to the rescue of unique Czech ecosystem

exmoor poneis being released in

Using wild horse populations to help the environment instead of considering them to be feral vermin. Isn’t this a better way to treat our four legged friends? We will be announcing a photo contest later today celebrating our four-legged friends. HfH

MILOVICE (Czech Republic), Feb 16, 2015:

exmoor poneis being released in

The wild horses that disappeared from the Czech lands centuries ago is set to return as 14 Exmoor ponies from Great Britain will be released in a former Soviet military zone near Prague in a bid to preserve its unique ecosystem. — AFP pic

Wild ponies vanished from Czech soil thousands of years ago but are now making a comeback thanks to an imported herd that conservationists hope will rescue an unique ecosystem.

The 14 light brown mares chomp on grass in a small enclosure in Milovice, a small town just east of the capital Prague, as they recover from a long journey from Exmoor National Park in England.

The stocky animals with black-and-tan noses, who stand 1.25 metres tall, are one of just a handful of wild horse herds living in Central and Eastern Europe.

Archaeological research shows that groups of wild horses galloped across this part of the continent as far back as 4,700 to 3,700 BC before being domesticated.

“It’s the first time the Czech Republic will use ponies to save an ecosystem — a steppe in this case,” says Dalibor Dostal from the non-profit organisation Ceska krajina (Czech countryside).

Behind him stretches 40ha of plains covered in grass, plants, bushes and small trees — all delicacies for the ponies, who happily snack on leaves and branches.

Miroslav Jirku from the Czech Academy of Sciences is betting that the newcomers will devour the invasive species that are choking rare indigenous specimens of flora and fauna.

“The butterfly and the plant are the indisputable kings and queens of this area,” Jirku told AFP, pointing to the Alcon Blue butterfly and the tiny blue plant Cross Gentian as examples.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
3 Comments
  • Maggie Frazier

    It’s shameful the way this country treats its wild animals – certainly shows how modern & progressive we are, doesn’t it? Its good to hear of countries that actually care about its wild animals – national resources!

    February 16, 2015
  • These Ponies are awesome. I had the chance to ride one called ‘Raven’ about 15 years ago. He was a bit of a Devil, the Ponies are less tolerant than Horses. He was owned by a 12 year old girl and the biggest mistake any parent can make is buying their child a Pony.

    I used to exercise Raven so he was a bit tired when his owner finally got on. Ponies can live to be in their mid to late 40’s and they are indeed a lifetime commitment. Never had the chance to rescue one but would do so in a heartbeat.

    CD

    February 16, 2015
  • Daniel Cordero Fernandez

    «the Czech Academy of Sciences is betting that the newcomers will devour the invasive species that are choking rare indigenous specimens of flora and fauna»

    BLM, USFS please take note…

    February 16, 2015