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End of trail for brumbies

All but one of the remaining Brooms Head brumbies in a holding pen at Grafton waiting for a more permanent home.
All but one of the remaining Brooms Head brumbies in a holding pen at Grafton waiting for a more permanent home.

THE last of the Brooms Head brumbies have been all but rounded up and will soon be re-homed on the Lower Clarence.

Yesterday the National Parks and Wildlife Service moved a yearling, a mare and a foal at foot to its Grafton holding pen while a person near Brooms Head completed yards to house the horses.

NPWS Grafton spokesperson Lawrence Orel said only one horse, a stallion which survived the fires that killed most of the previous herd more than 10 years ago, was still at large.

Mr Orel said the NPWS had captured the horses to ensure the herd did not grow in number.

"At the stage it was, it would not be long before there was a sizable number of horses," Mr Orel said.

"This was an impact we wanted to avoid on the local environment and it is also a danger to traffic on the roads."

Mr Orel said he was aware of stories the mare had been deliberately liberated to rekindle the herd.

"The stallion has been in the area for a lot of years," Mr Orel said.

"We had been able to lure the other horses into the yards with green feed, but he's been more elusive."

A herd of approximately 15 brumbies was an icon in the Brooms Head area for decades.

Many visitors and locals found the idea of horses running free enchanting, but to conservation organisations the horses were feral animals and a nuisance.

The massive fires in the region about 10 years ago seemed to have solved the problem when a blaze trapped and killed all the horses but one, a young stallion.

It is his progeny that is in the yards at Grafton now.

Topics:  animals, brooms head, brumbies, lawrence orel, national parks and wildlife service


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