A rare and endangered breed of horse, indigenous in Greece since antiquity, is under threat following a difficult year.
The endangered Skyrian horse is one of the rarest horse breeds in the world with an estimated 260 left in Greece. Most of the horses, 187 to be exact, live on the Aegean island of Skyros.
But after a challenging year that included intense heat, heavy rainfall and strong winds, the horses are facing a difficult winter.
A group of volunteers that work tirelessly to look after the horses has set up a crowdfunding campaign to help raise much needed funds.
“It has been a challenging year for so many, and like numerous other animal conservation and welfare projects, the pandemic has affected our income,” Amanda Simpson from the Skyros Island Horse Trust told The Pappas Post. “Unfortunately our project has also been affected by changing weather patterns too.”
Simpson said it is never easy for the project to survive and this year has been extremely challenging.
“Disastrous late-season rains followed by intense heat led to a 50 percent decrease in Greece’s meadow hay crop, making feed scarce and hugely expensive,” she said.
Simpson says due to heavy rains at harvest time, the oaten hay also suffered, and irrigated alfalfa prices have skyrocketed 30 percent due to increased electricity prices in Greece.
“All this makes our task of feeding 34 endangered Skyrian Horses more challenging,” she said.
She and her team are urgently trying to raise $13,500 through their crowdfunding campaign to repair shelter and fencing and purchase a large lorry of hay. The group is trying to protect the 34 endangered Skyrian horses and two rescue horses under its care.
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