I’m just starting to get my head up after after about a year that surely counts as the roughest in my 23 year history of trying to keep the Abaco Spanish Colonial Horses alive. Nunki became ill last October after antibiotic treatment for a cut. When Dr. Vasiliki Harvey arrived in December to help us get a grip on why Nunki couldn’t get better, on the day she arrived I came down with Chikungunya fever, rather like Dengue only the effects can last up to a year. I can attest to that.
We struggled through the spring and early summer, taking Nunki on long walks (not fun in the fever’s long aftermath); cheering when she rallied, suffering with her when she would relapse.
On July 23 Nunki’s struggle ended. She was over 20 years old, amazing for a wild horse, especially one exposed to so many strange pressures. As I’ve noted in other places, on a day that stands right up there with some of the most harrowing chapters from some international suspense thriller, we got living tissue from Nunki into cryogenic storage with ViaGen of Texas. Her cells multiplied, we have enough material to clone several Nunki’s. The stallion, Wayward Wind, DNA approved has sperm already cryogenically stored. We are days away from submitting a requested detailed plan to The Government of The Bahamas for the restoration of the herd.
We’ve been encouraged by Bahamas National Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) to submit a proposal for acceptance of our project as a nominee to become a World Heritage Site.
We were invited to submit our You Caring video to the First Annual Equus Film Festival in New York this month They INVITED us. You’ll be reading more about this soon.
So why aren’t things happening right now this minute? They are! They’re just not the sort of things that make good photo ops.
In the sad days since Nunki’s loss, the work load has switched from tending her almost constantly to spending hours at the computer pulling data together and creating compelling presentation, for which I’ve had the invaluable help of Team Nunki Member Kean Smith. During this period, other members of Team Nunki have been valiantly at work with outreach, letting people know what we are trying to do, holding fund raising events, getting our web site ready for a long overdue update, keeping our presence on Facebook alive and well.
Remember I wrote that if everyone who liked us sent us one dollar a month we’d be up and running? As soon as the government approves our plan we are just jumping at the chance to get going. Everything is on the brink of a huge, world first happening, bringing back a breed that’s officially extinct, through cloning. But we can’t do it alone. Words are not enough.
The men, Avener and Jean who were key to keeping Nunki going as long as she did, have been cut back to Two Hours of work per day. How can they live on that? We just don’t have the financial support to back up the bills I’ve been paying during this long sad time while waiting for government approval. And their work is critical to keeping the Preserve going for the horses that one day will roam there again.
As one of our team members put it, are you just going to read this story and shake your head or will you become a full participant in the glory of seeing these rare horses once again fill the forest preserve?