Friday, June 4, 2010

Horse sense

The Dominion Post reports:
The annual Kaimanawa wild horse muster will now take place every two years because animal numbers are at more sustainable levels.

The 18th annual muster began yesterday, with helicopters herding nearly 100 horses into purpose-built pens on Waiouru Military Camp land. The operation, led by the Conservation Department with help from the New Zealand Defence Force and horse-protection groups, aimed to remove 148 wild horses from a population of 448. Homes have been found for about 100 of the horses. Older stallions and injured horses would be culled.

The muster is expected to finish tomorrow after the horses are de-wormed and trucked to four North Island pickup points. The next muster will be in 2012. DOC Palmerston North area manager Jason Roxburgh said 300 horses would be left on the land. There were nearly 2000 horses on the environmentally fragile land in the Kaimanawa Range in the central North Island before musters began in 1993.

Since the horse population was reduced, native species such as red tussock were regenerating.
Yes, excellent news, though perhaps less so if one is a horse. But I wonder if the horse in the photograph accompanying this story could be related to the one in Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica.

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