Portugal: Wild Land on the Edge | Meet Portugal’s 20,000-Year-Old Wild Horses | Nature



– The stars of the national park are no newcomers: wild Garrano horses.

They have lived among these peaks for 20,000 years.

(horse hooves clopping) (horse neighs) The craggy landscape at 5,000 feet has made them stocky, strong climbers and trusted companions for Portuguese seafarers.

Small and surefooted, they were suited to life on the ocean waves.

Garranos rarely grow to more than five feet tall.

(horse neighs) Springtime is foaling time, time for the young to get to know one another, to relax and, above all, to explore their boundaries.

To escape the summer storms, Garranos seek shelter in one of Portugal’s last ancient mountain forests.

(thunder rumbles) Only a few hundred purebred Garranos remain.

(horses snorting) Protecting and maintaining this ancient species is the task of both the national park and private breeders.

But they, too, must respect the forces of nature and its innate transience.

(horses whinnying) Wild horses sometimes fall victim to rare Geres wolves.

Although the predators are rarely seen, there’s no mistaking the tracks they leave behind.

Living with wolves means the Garranos have never lost their flight instinct.

The mists that can return at any time offer the horses a welcome cloak of invisibility.

(soft instrumental music)


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