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we are struggling to hold things together as we wait for government response to our plan for rennaissance. ... See MoreSee Less

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Yesterday was a shocker (Thursday, April 6)

Long time Team Nunki member Sami Bolton and I headed into Marsh Harbor for the weekly trip to get dog and cat food. It’s about a 30 mile trip and for most of the way the highway had had both sides burned to brown crisps. Fires are frequent at this time of year (drought, strong winds, and irresponsible humans) but I’ve never seen anything as extensive as this before in the northern part of Abaco.

Worse was to come. On our way to deliver the feed and fill water jugs for the dogs we saw that the farm road to the Preserve had fire on the north side, not far from the entrance to the road. I still wasn’t worried until a mile and a half along, with still smoldering trees near the road, we could see that the fire had not only jumped the road but had continued west right toward our base.

When we arrived, dogs and cats were safe, but the fire had come very, very close. Strong winds must have fanned an inferno, at least a third of the insulation on one of the containers was torn off. We were able to prop it back up. The dogs’ outdoor ‘hutch’, already crumbling, had been further reduced.

I had had no idea the preserve had been on fire. There were more smoldering logs, patches of earth still were warm. Always, in the past, there had been some warning.

A note from Avener said he had fought fire for five hours on the previous Saturday . Apparently the precautions he took saved the base from fire that must have swept through on Wednesday. Hopefully he will get back in touch to tell me what actually happened. Sometimes cell phones don’t work out there. I still don’t have a vehicle and can’t get out to the preserve without renting one and at this time of year with many visitors there aren’t always cars available.

The papaya patch was hit hard, yet fruit remained (which we harvested) and we hope the trees will survive. Our night blooming jasmine, which we nearly lost to hurricane Matthew, is coming back strong and added to the little green oasis in what was the heart of the blaze. A big Agave plant is badly scarred.

A few years back we could have fought this fire, kept it farther away, but the tractor still is not repaired. It’s been three and a half years since someone tore up a rear tire and has not yet replaced it.

Through all this, we Thank and Thank Again the subscribers and supporters who are faithfully sending their donations as we struggle to hold things together as we wait for government response to our plan for renaissance.

Photos below: Recent fire came so close to the dogs' pen, never this close before. The night blooming jasmine survived well. Papaya trees scorched, but fruit still good. More photos coming.
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Yes, Back from Extinction. Here is our plan. It was presented to the Government of the Bahamas in October, 2015, shortly after Nunki died. We present this so that you know our goals. Please note: we do not wish to get into discussions (about cloning or any other issues) at this time. This is simply FYI.

1. Bring the herd back from extinction 2.Reestablish support facilities to ensure their survival.

1. Rebirth of the herd using well established cloning and embryo transfer techniques. Cloning is the last resort as despite years of effort no breeding plan ever was permitted to be established and the last horse, Mare Nunki, died on July 23, 2015. To date nearly 2 million dollars of pro bono services have been offered to bring this to fruition. The horses are extinct. This can be reversed.

2. Formal allocation of the current designated 3800 acre conservation area for the horses to include extra pasture area of at least 200 acres as previously offered by the Department of Agriculture and promised in the past (per grant letter from the Office of the Prime Minister dated February 6, 2003).

2a. Planned improvements to the Preserve include new buildings, upgraded solar-powered electric fence system, and other infrastructure that will support the health and wellbeing of the horses while respecting as natural a state as possible for them. UNESCO Bahamas will support our efforts and provide assistance in order to have the Preserve designated as a World Heritage Site once it is upgraded and the first horses arrive.

2b. Equine assisted therapy. While awaiting the arrival of the cloned horses, 4–6 American Mustang geldings will be introduced to the Preserve as the core of an equine-assisted therapy program. Equine therapy programs are recognized successes and this will be the first such program in the Bahamas. The geldings will re establish an equine presence in the preserve, making it easier for the clones and their offspring to adapt.

Results
Returning wildlife to ecologically important areas (The Preserve is located over the largest fresh water lens in Abaco) and reestablishing biodiversity are critical to the health of the planet. The goal of Arkwild is to restore Abaco’s wild horses and to serve as a premiere site for educating the world about the importance and feasibility of similar programs and showcasing the excellence of alternative energy sources. The Nature Conservancy has declared the Preserve area a the best example of its kind on Abaco, and the third best of all such areas in existence.

Ecotourism: The Preserve can become be a world-class center for showcasing the beneficial effects of good environmental stewardship. The importance of animal assisted therapy for humans has been established and many such programs exist in the United States and around the world. The Preserve will be the first such program in The Bahamas. Tourists will also have an opportunity to experience the Abaco pines ecosystem and observe the horses (and other wildlife) in a natural setting, and to participate in an equine-assisted therapy program.

Biological Tourism: Reintroducing an extinct sub species through cloning, the Preserve will appeal to students, biologists, ecologists, geneticists, and other scholars who wish to study our success.

Timelines: A minimum of one year will be required to upgrade the preserve, including replacement of solar powered electric fence system and two buildings. At least a year will be required to establish the equine-assisted therapy program, and 5–6 years will be required for importation of clones and foals.

A 40 page detailed version of the plan was submitted to the Bahamian Government on Oct. 16, 2015. We have yet to receive a decision despite ongoing follow-ups. This has led to a complete halt in operations as without government approval no further action can be taken and the living cells of the last horse remain in storage at no cost to the government.
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These are the pine trees that were so sought after several hundred years ago and what brought loging to the area. ... See MoreSee Less

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(By Sami) my husband and I finally made it back to the Abacos in our boat last week. We were able to go out to The Preserve with Mimi and it's just as beautiful as I remember. We fed the rescue dogs and cats and were able to catch a few great pictures. This little froggy decided Mimi's shoulder would be a great place to hang. As far as the horses go, we are again and seems like eternity in a wait-and-see position. There are things going on behind the scenes and again, we don't mean to be mysterious about it but there's just nothing to report right now..... ... See MoreSee Less

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(by Sami) Happy Birthday Mimi!!!!! So glad we were able to get here to spend it with you. ... See MoreSee Less

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Looking forward to November in NYC! We will take every opportunity to spread the word about the WHOA situation. Hope to see you there! ... See MoreSee Less

EQUUS Film Festival Schedule of Events! Thursday November 17 - VIP Party @ Pop-Up Gallery – 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Friday November 18 - Theater - 12:00 - 11:00 p.m. Friday November 18 - Pop-Up Gallery -...

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