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Namib’s wild horses out of the dark after facing water shortages

Namib’s wild horses out of the dark after facing water shortages

Zorena Jantze

IN the deep silence of the Namib Desert, wild horses come as poetry to the tide of golden light in the barren planes around Garub.

The feral horses, which have drifted about in the sparsely vegetated Namib Desert for decades, have come to depend on drinking water at Garub, located between Aus and Lüderitz.

The horses have recently, however, run into water shortages. This is after the feral horse population numbers in the Namib came into danger after they became frequent prey to the spotted hyenas over the years.

FERAL BREED: Some of the wild horses. Photos: Namibia Wild Horses Foundation and Gondwana collection.

Wayne Handley from the Ministry of Environment explained that the environment ministry, in conjunction with the Namibia Wild Horses Foundation, are currently working on repairing the water hole at Garub, with funds to the tune of N$240 000.

He explained that this repair work begun after the horses experienced dehydration this week due to a lack of water. This is after a tourist allegedly tampered with a valve in the boreholes which caused water to overflow, resulting in low water in the tanks.

Handley said that there are currently two drinking points for the wild horses and that one of them has been refilled.

“We are back on, we are running the generators to pump water. However, the flow is slower than the consumption right now,” Handley said.

He added that the repair work includes the provision of solar panels, the construction of concrete water provision points as well as the reparation of the borehole pump.

According to the Namibia Wild Horses Foundation, one source of the origin of the Namib’s horses is that the herd stems from the bombing of the Union of South Africa Troops that were stationed at Garub in 1915. The grazing herds scattered in the ensuing turmoil.

Another theory suggest that the horses belonged to Emil Kreplin, who was the mayor of Lüderitz from 1909 to 1914 and who had a stud farm at Kubub, South of Aus.

The remarkable similarities in conformation and markings of horses from Emil Kreplin’s stud farm at Kubub suggests this as another source of their origin, the foundation said.

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