The Konik horses of Oostvaardersplassen
The Konik horse is a direct descendant of the now extinct European horse, the Tarpan. They would not exist today if it weren't for polish farmers who took the last Tarpan and cross bred it with their own working horse more than a hundred years ago.
In the 1980s, Koniks were brought to the Netherlands. The first were put on the Ennemaborgh Estate in 1981 and later, in 1984, Koniks were introduced to the Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve.
Oostvaardersplassen is situated in the province of Flevoland and covers 56 square kilometres of land. It was created in 1968 and is now known for rewilding.
Before establishing the reserve, the dry area was a willow tree nursery. To avoid creating a dense woodland that would threaten the habitats of waterbirds, large grazing animals, including Konik ponies, red deer and Heck cattle, were brought in.
The animals are allowed to roam wild to resemble those that would have existed in European centuries before.
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