The last wild horse of Abaco, Nunki passed away on July 23rd, 2015. Nunki's tissue is now in a lab at Viagen. (Photo: Wild Horses of Abaco Facebook)
Many have been following the plight of the wild horses of Abaco over the years, and it is with sadness we report that the last horse, Nunki passed away on July 23rd.
On July 25th the "Save the Wild Horses of Abaco" facebook page read:
"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we have to tell you, our faithful fans and followers, of Nunkis passing on July 23rd. Nunki was over 20 years old, which is quite remarkable for her. She passed peacefully and painlessly in the loving arms of her caretaker and friend of over 20 years Milanne Rehor (Mimi) and with friends Avener and Dr Bailey at her side. Her over stressed liver finally gave up.
On this saddest of days as we all try to wrap our heads and our hearts around what has happened, I wanted to reflect on a few things and share them with all of you.
Let us remember that our goal and mission was for this breed and for Nunki...and that goal still remains the same...trying to preserve this breed for future generations and to make what has gone wrong right again. And even though Nunki is now gone that mission does NOT change. We will continue to work towards the return of the herd, and with Nunkis DNA that is still possible!!! So let us not forget why we ALL joined together, why we were friends to Mimi, the Team and most of all Nunki and her kind, because we all cared enough to want to make a difference, and our work is NOT done!
Let us all keep Mimi, Avener and Jean in our thoughts and prayers, because no one knew or loved Nunki more than they did. May Nunki rest in peace, I know she is kicking up her heels, whinnying to all those that have gone before her, with the wind whipping thru her mane! We look forward to continuing to work with all of you on her re-birth!
May God Bless Us All, and help us be successful on this incredible mission that we have ALL come together to accomplish.
Rest in Peace Sweet Nunki"
Earlier this year, and in
2007 and 2009 The Bahamas Weekly ran features on the wild horses of Abaco. At that time there were 8 remaining of the rare breed, the Spanish Barb who were said to be introduced to the Americas by Spanish explorers during the time of Columbus. "The horses were imported from Cuba in the late 1800s by a logging company. When the company switched to tractors for pulling logs in the 1940s, the animals were set free and went feral."
With what started as a herd of 200 had reduced to only 1. Over the course of 40+ years there was a progressive reduction due to many factors.
In 1992 a woman, Milanne 'Mimi' Rehor discovered them and chose to dedicate her life to saving the wild horses.
Rehor she lost a "wonderful companion," and hopes Nunki's cells can be reproduced and one day a foal can be bred with DNA from a living stallion.
On July 28th the following updated appeared on the Facebook page:
"It is with a huge sigh of relief that we can announce that Nunkis tissue has left the Bahamas and is safe and sound at Viagen who will preserve her tissue until we can move forward. This is a monumental moment in the Bahamian history and the history and future of the Wild Horses of Abaco. We thank everyone, especially Milanne (Mimi) for spearheading this historical process and for helping to preserve the future of this magnificent breed of horse, the journey continues... Don't just follow the story...be a part of the GLORY..of Nunkis re-birth and the return of the herd!!! Thank you to our loyal supporters and followers... Without you this would not have been possible!
Although Mimi has spearheaded everything regarding saving the Abaco horses she certainly is not alone in this venture. There are breeding experts, veterinarians, and a slew of specialists involved with this whole process... So it is not just her own time and energy involved, there are many doing the hands on work necessary to make this happen... And of course there is all of us on the Team and most of all our loyal supporters..."
TheBahamasWeekly.com will provide another report as information comes in.
Read a recent feature in the Huffington Post
Previous featured on TheBahamasWeekly.com:
Rare Wild Horse of Abaco in Need of Saving
Watch a video about the horses