Namibia wild horses in dire straits

27 Apr 2016 11:50am
KEETMANSHOOP, 27 APR (NAMPA) – The wild horses of the Namib Desert continue to be in trouble due to the prolonged drought experienced in Namibia.
According to the Namibia Wild Horses Foundation, over 100 horses died so far and not a single foal has survived in the last three years.
The foundation fears that without rain there will be virtually no grass left by the onset of winter and as the horses’ condition further deteriorates, numbers will begin to drop dramatically.
The population is presently around 160 horses, while Spotted Hyenas play a part in the decimation of the horses which become easy prey in their weakened state.
The foundation appealed for funds or good quality grass to carry the famed horses through the winter period in a media statement issued on Tuesday.
The foundation expressed gratitude to those who already donated food and water.
“The contributions provided supplementary feed in the form of grass and a protein lick which will sustain the horses until the beginning of June,” the foundation wrote.
Funds are now needed for the next phase after June “to ensure the survival of the horses”.
The drought left little grass in the horses’ range while fences also restrict these revered animals from moving further inland to areas that received scattered rainfall, the foundation said.
The desert is barren and the foundation hopes to increase the feed to provide half to three quarters of the horses’ nutritional requirements.
“As much of Namibia is dry, grass and lucerne will most likely have to be bought from South Africa, which is a costly affair,” the foundation said.
The wild horses, a main attraction in southern Namibia, have lived in the Namib Desert for over a century. Annually, many tourists visit the Garub waterhole near Aus to witness the horses galloping to the water across the Garub plains.
The Namibia Wild Horses Foundation is a non-profit organisation established in 2012 to monitor the well-being of the horses and to raise funds for horse feed when necessary. It works closely with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
Donations can be made to the following account:
Namibia Wild Horses Foundation
First National Bank of Namibia
Current Account 62246659489
Branch: Klein Windhoek (code 281479)