Today marked the annual round-up of the wild horses (not my picture)
New Zealand's Department of Conservation today began its annual round-up of the feral horses that roam the central North Island. A herd of about 500 of these wild horses lives in the largely uninhabited desert area of the Kaimanawa Range. These hardy, mild-tempered horses have been wild in the area since 1876 and the herd grew to more than 1,500 horses by the 1970s. The government manages the numbers to around 500 to protect many endangered plant species. Any of the horses that don't find homes are, sadly, sent to the abattoir. The horses are marshalled by helicopter. I was surprised to hear that such a large herd could exist in New Zealand. But having driven the Desert Road a couple of times, let me tell you it's wild and desolate country up there.