I’ve written another blog post for the excellent City Creatures blog, run by the people at the Center for Humans & Nature. The post is about visiting the Oostvaardersplassen, a nature reserve in the Netherlands, and seeing the wild konik horses. It’s also about what it means for an animal to be wild and how visiting the Oostvaardersplassen shifted my notion of how a wild animal should behave.
Here’s a wee extract:
Eventually we stopped at the edge of another expanse of grass, through which a mud path crossed and then petered out as it approached the herd of konik horses. We all got off the tractor-trailer and were told to stay together in a group as we made our approach. We walked over slowly and stopped at a respectable distance, perhaps fifty metres away. And then, a strange and wonderful thing happened. Far from being afraid and wanting to flee, as I had expected, the horses were curious. They started to walk towards us and gradually gathered around in clusters. They were so close we could see the variations of grey in their hair, their messy, tangled manes, and the dark scars inflicted by other horses during fights. We could also see their large watchful eyes, behind which a rich inner life appeared to brim.
Read the full post over on the City Creatures blog.