A foal has been born to mare Meredith and stallion Igloo, both wild horses in the Namib Desert.
After a five-year drought and continual predation by a pack of hyaena, the Namib horse population has been through a tough time.
Not a single foal has survived since 2012, which means the youngest horse is six years old. In 2013 alone, the hyaena pack caught and killed 100 horses, 50 of them foals. The population plummeted from 286 to the 79 horses still alive today – 80 if the newborn foal is included. Another mare is due to foal this year, others are expecting in 2019.
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 healthy.
News that some of the hyaenas have moved out of the Namib Naukluft Park may mean that the Namibs – and the new foal – now have a chance.