Hope for a wild horse foal

A foal was born to mare Meredith and stallion Igloo. This may not sound like a huge event, but for the wild horses of the Namib Desert it’s a symbol of hope. After a five-year drought and continual depredation by a pack of hyenas, the Namib horse population has been through a tough time. Not one foal has survived since 2012, meaning that the youngest horse is six years old. In 2013 alone, the hyenas caught and killed a hundred horses, fifty of them foals. The population plummeted from 286 to the 79 horses still alive today, 80 of the newborn foal is included.
Another mare is due to foal this year, others are expecting in 2019 – and everyone is praying that it’s a new beginning of the century-old population that has been hovering on the brink of extinction.
After several years of the Namibia Wild Horses Foundation providing feed for the horses to sustain them over the drought period – with generous donations by the public, the rains mid-year thankfully broke the drought and covered the desert floor in a carpet of grass. The surviving horses have gained condition and are fat and healthy.
News that some of the hyenas have moved out of the Namib Naukluft Park may mean that the Namib’s horses – and the new foal – now have a chance. Here’s hoping with all our hearts

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