Caretakers are devastated by the death of the last remaining wild horse on the Jamaican island of Great Abaco. Veterinarians collected tissue samples, which were shipped to an animal cloning technology company in Texas.
Horses were introduced to the Island by lumber companies in the 1800’s. When the lumber companies switched to tractors, the horses were set free and turned feral. When a child was killed by one of the horses, locals killed all by 3 of the herd. The herd rebounded to approximately 35 horses, but due to poisoning by pesticides, herbicides and poisonous plants, the herd dwindled over the years until the last remaining horse, a 20 year old mare, died recently.
Caretakers are hopeful that cloning will be successful and the horses will be able to be reintroduced to the island. “…we are also optimistic because we do have a crack at bringing the herd back,” said Rehor, who headed efforts to preserve the wild horses.
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