Save the Wild Horses of Abaco

$6,991raised of $15,000 goal
46%

Organizer: Arkwild, Inc. Beneficiary: Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society

This fundraiser is closed

<img src="http://www.meghanbalogh.com/whoa-youcaring1.jpg" alt="">

 

What's Our Cause?
For more than a century, wild horses have roamed the forests of Great Abaco Island, in The Bahamas. In 1960 there were as many as 200 horses living on the island.

Now, extinction threatens the Abaco Spanish Colonial Horse, which traces its ancestry to Spanish horses that came to the New World with Christopher Columbus. The herd contained the spectacular splash patterns created by the splash white gene, and the horses were bays, roans, pintos. These colours are seen nowhere else in such concentration in the world today.

For more than 20 years, the Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society has been fighting to save Abaco's wild horses from extinction.

Despite their best efforts in the race against time, natural disasters, manmade disasters, and bureaucracy have diminished this once thriving wild horse population from 200, to one.

Today, there is only one horse left: a mare named Nunki. 

With your help, we can save this unique and historically significant breed from extinction. But time is running out.

 

What's New?

• Since we launched our $5,000 fundraising goal in October 2013, the world has rallied to help us! We raised just over $5,800 thanks to the donations of individuals, companies and charitable organizations.  THANK YOU! It got us through the process of flying our expert to Abaco t see Nunki, and has covered basic reserve costs since then.

• In February 2014, Brad Ray of Premier Breeding Services in Colorado flew to Abaco. Together, he and our local vet Dr. Derrick Bailey did a sonogram survey of Nunki reproductive system and she has been deemed healthy and a good candidate for egg harvest. Brad Ray will return with additional vet and assistant sometime later this year to collect eggs from Nunki.

• Though not new, we now have permission to mention that Dr. Gus Cothran, a professor in the Department of Integrative Biosciences at Texas A&M University, is working closely with us in identifying potential stallion candidates. He's been studying equine genetics since 1982 and works in the area of parentage testing. He's very involved in the conservation of rare breeds.

• We have one stallion selected already to be a match for Nunki's eggs, to create the next Abaco Spanish Colonial foals. We are searching for up to four more. That brings us to the Plan.

 

The Plan

Nunki's eggs will be flown to a lab at Texas A&M, stored, and later fertilized with donor stallion sperm. Those fertilized eggs will be implanted in surrogate mares who will be transported to Abaco to give birth to the next Abaco Spanish Colonial foals, on Abaco soil.

To save the Abaco Spanish Colonial Horse and insure that it will again roam Great Abaco Island in the colourful herds it once did, we need to raise the capital to carry out our plan. The process is expensive and costs many thousands of dollars per embryo—plus, the cost of importing our surrogates so that our foals will be raised in their natural environment, where Abaco Spanish Colonial horses have roamed for hundreds of years. We'll be back with more details about this expense in the near future. 

 

What We Need Right Now
Thanks to you all and your generosity in Oct/Nov 2013, we are 30% on our way to our new $15,000 goal! 

The additional $10,000 that we're trying to raise will help us prepare for this massive undertaking: 

• Offset costs of returning equine reproduction specialists, as well as their lab equipment, to harvest Nunki's eggs (later this year)

• Offset costs of acquiring a Preserve vehicle. For months now, Milanne Rehor, president/founder of Wild Horses of Abaco, has been transporting 50-lb. bags of feed and other necessities back and forth the 45 minutes to the Preserve on a motor bike! It's a precarious balancing act that sometimes doesn't go well. Milanne just turned 70 and she needs a safe truck or other suitable vehicle to carry shipments of Preserve supplies.

• Offset costs of purchasing new electric fencing materials to replace fencing destroyed by trees and brushfires.

• Pay our two Preserve workers, Avener and Jean, full-time hours once more so that they can work to prepare the Preserve for new horses. For several months they have been only part-time because of our financial situation. They are hard workers supporting families in Bahamas and Haiti with their wages.

 

Guess what? There is no limit to what YouCaring will receive on behalf of the Wild Horses of Abaco, so even if we hit our goal, don't feel like you should stop giving if you feel moved! 

 

If you feel like you want to be an ongoing support to the Wild Horses of Abaco, consider signing up for a subscription sponsorship. Visit this page on our website to become a subscription donor.

 

No money? You can still help!
Spread the word. In the worldwide horse-loving community, surely there are some friends or acquaintances who would love to contribute to this cause and say that they helped saved the most endangered breed in the world. Do you have a skill that would be of assistance to our efforts? Are you an artist or artisan who would like to donate a piece of your art? Contact us!

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  

Why didn't you save them sooner?
We tried. Milanne Rehor, founder of the WIld Horses of Abaco Preservation Society, has been at "ground zero" on Great Abaco Island for 20 years, involved daily in the care, protection, and advocacy of the wild horses. Unfortunately, while she has had help by volunteers off and on over the years, the obstacles to success have been many, and the years and disasters have taken their toll on both Milanne and the horses. 

Read the entire, tragic history of the horses from 1996 to present, here. 


How can you continue the breed without a stallion? 
It's true that, tragically, we no longer have an Abaco Spanish Colonial stallion. But we are looking at other Spanish Colonial horse populations in the world, and already have our first stallion candidate selected — his owner is thrilled to be on board with our project! We are searching for up to five stallions to create the genetic diversity we will need to start with. We are working closely with breed experts on choosing the right candidates who will carry complimentary, and comparable, genetics to Nunki.

 

The procedure you want to do sounds extreme.  
It's actually quite a commonplace procedure these days in the world of horse breeding. Fertilizing harvested eggs from a mare with the collected sperm from a stallion, the fertilized egg is placed in a surrogate mare, who then grows, delivers, and raises the foal. In this manner, several offspring can be achieved in a shorter period of time. But, the process is expensive and costs many thousands of dollars per embryo—we'll be back with more details about this plan in the near future.


Why should I give you money?
You don't have to give us money. But if you choose to donate, you will be playing a first-hand role in a heroic attempt at the preservation of an historically significant and unique horse. That's worth something. 


Who gets my money?
Your money goes, by means of whichever payment you choose, to our Arkwild, Inc. Paypal account. Arkwild, Inc. is a registered 501 © 3 non-profit organization in the US, registered with the IRS, that allows us to receive funds in the US on behalf of the Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society, in the Bahamas. If you are a US citizen, your donations over $50 to Arkwild, Inc. are tax deductible. 

From there, 100% of the funds go directly to the Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society in The Bahamas to cover our immediate needs and expenses: accommodating reproductive specialists, paying our two staff members to maintain Preserve fence lines and feed and water Nunki daily, and purchasing the feed supplements that Nunki needs to stay healthy while the Preserve is established with suitable grazing areas.
 

What is Arkwild?
Arkwild, Inc. is a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in the US, registered with the IRS, that allows us to receive funds in the US on behalf of the Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society, in the Bahamas. If you are a US citizen, your donations over $50 to Arkwild, Inc. are tax deductible. Arkwild was founded on April 5, 2004. You can read more about Arkwild and WHOA at www.arkwild.org

 

Updates

Updates

02/27/2014
by Arkwild, Inc.
Dear Friends and Supporters,

Much has developed since our last update. Here is a rundown of what is new as of February 26, 2014:

What's New?

• Since we launched our $5,000 fundraising goal in October 2013, the world has rallied to help us! We raised just over $5,800 thanks to the donations of individuals, companies and charitable organizations.  THANK YOU! It got us through the process of flying our expert to Abaco t see Nunki, and has covered basic reserve costs since then.

• In February 2014, Brad Ray of Premier Breeding Services in Colorado flew to Abaco. Together, he and our local vet Dr. Derrick Bailey did a sonogram survey of Nunki's reproductive system and she has been deemed healthy and a good candidate for egg harvest. Brad Ray will return with additional vet and assistant sometime later this year to collect eggs from Nunki.

• Though not new, we now have permission to mention that Dr. Gus Cothran, a professor in the Department of Integrative Biosciences at Texas A&M University, is working closely with us in identifying potential stallion candidates. He's been studying equine genetics since 1982 and works in the area of parentage testing. He's very involved in the conservation of rare breeds.

• We have one stallion selected already to be a match for Nunki's eggs, to create the next Abaco Spanish Colonial foals. We are searching for up to four more.

Please feel free to follow our nearly daily updates at www.facebook.com/abacohorses!

With gratefulness and anticipation,
"Team Nunki"
Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society
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11/27/2013
by Arkwild, Inc.
Words will never be enough, but here’s a try: From Nunki’s world to yours, we offer a huge Thank You!

From across the US to the US Virgin Islands to the Bahamas to the UK, you rallied to help Nunki towards a future of health and safety and you have enabled us to take the first steps to rebuild a lost herd of historically and genetically unique horses. Nunki carries some of the purest genes in the world for Spanish Colonial traits, she carries one of the three genes for the rare splashed white pinto pattern, she is gaited, and in phenotype is about as close to perfect as can be.

Today, the last day of our crowdfunding campaign, we reached our goal of $5,000.

And all because of you and your generosity, we can now hope to keep going into a future where a lively herd of Abaco Spanish Colonials, dotted with Splash Whites, will once again roam the forest in Abaco where the original herd survived for over 100 years.

Thank you for being part of history in the making.

- Milanne (Mim) Rehor, Founder
Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society

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11/23/2013
by Arkwild, Inc.
Dear Friends and Supporters,

We are four days away from our deadline and only $1,290 to go to reach our goal! Thank you so much for giving, for supporting us through donations and words and ideas—it means the world to us to see support pouring in where little has been for two decades. The internet is a stunning tool that can and will be the difference between life and death for our Nunki and her future offspring, and you are all playing a role in that difference.

If you haven't already, please give, if you are in the situation to do so.  

In the coming weeks we will be able to give a full update on Nunki's reproductive status and our plans moving forward. Stay tuned and be sure to follow us un facebook for regular updates: www.facebook.com/abacohorses

-"Team Nunki" and the Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society
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11/11/2013
by Arkwild, Inc.
Dear Friends and Supporters,

Good things are happening behind the scenes with "Team Nunki," as we've called ourselves! The hunt is on for the perfect stallions for Nunki. We are working closely with a geneticist from the US who has examined the Abaco horses' genetics and is vetting DNA samples to find the perfect matches for Nunki. We are looking high and low, around the world, for the right physical attributes as well as the unique colour patterns that emerged in our historic herd in years past.

As you can imagine, finding the "perfect" match might be impossible—that's the trouble with trying to match such unique genetics. However, all the professionals involved feel confident that complimentary stallions WILL be found to continue Nunki's line through oocyte fertilization, transfer, and surrogate pregnancies.

This is all wishful thinking until we raise enough money and awareness about this cause. But, our first stop is reproductive examination by our US equine reproductive specialists, and that's happening even before the deadline of this crowdfunding campaign.

Please, keep sharing our cause! Together we can make this happen.

With warm wishes and anticipation,
Team Nunki, and the Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society
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11/06/2013
by Arkwild, Inc.
Dear Friends and Supporters,

How generous you are! We have reached $230 of our $5,000 goal. We thank you sincerely for your donations, and we hope that others will be touched by this cause and find it in themselves to give.

This situation, while it may seem dire, can potentially be turned around. But first we need to have the specialists from the US—leaders in their field of equine reproduction, in vitro fertilization, and oocyte transfer—visit the Bahamas to tell us if Nunki is viable.

Help us raise enough money in time to fly these experts in so that they can examine and potentially harvest eggs from Nunki, eggs which will be stored safely for future breeding purposes.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. In the meantime, share this campaign with your friends.

- Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society
www.arkwild.org/blog
www.facebook.com/AbacoHorses
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