A bred-back wild horse
The original Tarpan is one of the ancestors of the domestic horse. Present in the wild all over Europe, the species was domesticated 500 years ago and became extinct at the end of the 19th century because it was hunted and its habitat was reduced. The last wild specimens were spotted in Poland, in the Bialowieza forest. Two breeding programs have attempted to recreate the species from parent lineage and living descendants. One of the programs was set in Poland and produced the 'Konik Polski', while the other (a German initiative), led to the creation of the 'Heck horse'. Both animals are very much alike.
The Tarpan is a small-sized horse, with a grey coat and a black mane with blond strands. It has a dorsal stripe that runs from the top of its mane to the end of its tail. It is a hardy animal that can withstand cold temperatures of up to -20° Celsius.
Nowadays, the Tarpan is a rustic species. It is also a keystone species that has an enriching impact on the landscape, offering open spaces that benefit a myriad of other species (herbs, grasses and the accompanying insects and birds).
The Tarpan lives in herds led by the dominant stallion.
After an 11-month gestation period the mare gives birth to 1, sometimes 2 foals.
Did you know that?
The Tarpan spends most of its time eating. They graze on the move for approximately 12 hours a day!
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