Dr. Michele Mautino finally arrived after many years of our working to get her here. She did a brief necropsy on Achernar in the presence of David Knowles, from the Bahamas National Trust, (and the Vice President of WHOA), Anthony Gibson of the Abaco branch of the Department of Agriculture, and Simeon Pinder, Director of the Ministry of Agriculture. Bobby Jones, President of WHOA also attended, and I.
Dr. Mautino said that Achernar appeared to have been in good condition, good hooves, good teeth, good body weight. The body was too far decomposed to take samples, and so the cause of death could not be determined specifically. My take is that he too ingested Lantana Sage and died of liver failure. There were no soft tissues left to see the symptom of yellowing. However, he was at least two miles from his normal grazing area and one of the effects of the disease is disorientation and aimless walking until the horse simply drops and dies. The horse dies within 3 -5 days of ingesting the sage, there is no time for weight loss.
Dr. Mautinos Meeting
After the necropsy members of the group went to the Preserve to have an initial look at where a formal pasture area will be made by the Dept. of Agriculture. It is hoped that this will happen quickly as the mares are long over due for clean pasture. At the same time plans were outlined for a pair of round pens connected with a treatment chute to be built so that Dr. Mautino can begin her reproductive assessment work when the weather is cooler.
A trip was then made to the resort of the Abaco Club at Winding Bay. The Resort used to have horses but found it too difficult to maintain them. The Club has offered their stable building to the Wild Horses Of Abaco. Some steps still need to be taken to get final approval. It is a lovely building, and once moved to the new pasture area will provide a sheltered help area for the horses. The horses will still, of course, be given the freedom to roam in the Preserve, but any at risk horses can be kept in the pasture area, any of the horses that need close observation for periods of time will be comfortable in the new area. We are very excited about this possibility.
Now we need to work on getting everyone who is involved to go up to the Preserve to actually lay out the pasture area. Then the area will be cleared and planted. And we have to seek final approval from Winding Bay. Then the building will be dismantled, hauled to the Preserve and reconstructed.
All of this is wonderful, optimistic news. However, notice that there are no funds mentioned at any time. We are in the summer season, the slow time for tourists and visitors. The mares still need their grain, about $100 worth per month. We need to buy fuel for the tractor so that we can go out to try to find Hadar, especially now that his companion Achernar is gone, and hopefully to find Capella and his mystery companion. We need to put gas in the truck, and pay the men who keep everything going while all the plans are being made. So please, now more than ever as we are on the brink of long overdue expansion, consider a subscription as we try to build our subscriber base of 17 people up to 500:
US donations are tax deductible, and can be made out to and sent as follows:
2829 Bird Ave.
Ste. 5, PMB 170
Miami, FL 33133
In the Bahamas:
WHOA (Wild Horses Of Abaco Preservation Society)
PO Box AB 20979
You Tube (Arkwild)
Our store on Café Press (Go WHOA store) <http://www.cafepress.com/GoWhoa>
For more options: