Protecting Wild Horses in Patagonia, Chile

Learn about the wild horses and how a nonprofit organization and a veterinary association are working to protect them.

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By Maria Paz Zuñiga Barrera, DVM, WEVA Board Member

A wild horse herd has resided in the mountains around Cape Horn, in Chilean Patagonia, for more than a century without any human contact. They are considered one of the largest and last wild horse herds in the world, but are unfortunately facing the risk of expulsion from their home territories.

These wild horses reside in the Cordillera Darwin (Darwin Mountains), which cover more than 700.000 hectares (1.7 million acres). The horses also have access to a 35,000-hectare (86,500-acre) historic cattle and wood ranch (called “Hacienda Yendegaia”) as well as thousands of hectares of swamps, rivers, and glaciers—one of the world’s most adverse climatological zones. These horses have been able to adapt, survive, and reproduce, making them of great scientific interest.

Current population estimates are 5,000 animals distributed in approximately 100 herds formed naturally, living in territories that they select, mark, and protect. The horses move around the territory, among the valleys and the Hacienda Yendegaia, during the winter and early spring to eat, give birth, and reproduce

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One Response

  1. Is there a place where I can donate to support the activity saving these horses?

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