Dutch wild horses become French movie stars

8 - 10 - 2013

Each year the semi wild konik herds at the Munnikenland reserve next to the river Waal are caught. But this year something special is happening. Tuesday October 8th parts of the local herd are being moved to France. Here they become stars at a wildlife documentary.

France movie producer Jacques Perrin of Galatée Film Productions is an expert in producing cinema documentaries on wildlife. His new movie shows European nature over the course of the last 10 000 years. Wild horses roamed freely over the continent for many centuries. That is why the Dutch koniks belong eminently at home in this movie.

Neighboring castle Loevestein in the Munnikenland reserve lives a herd of 56 semi wild konik horses. They are direct descendants of the original wild horses of eastern Poland and as such are chosen to play a role the this new movie. The animals live in groups of natural composition. Several harem groups as well as bachelor stallion groups can be found, all formed naturally. Their wild behavior can be seen around castle Loevestein; tough, prancing stallions as well as caring gentle mares and foals.

On the 8th of October 3 groups are being moved to France. Except being housed in a new environment, not much will change for the animals. They stay within their own family groups which makes the transition towards their new environment much easier. Within France they will be housed in a reserve of open oak forests interspersed with grasslands, where their natural behavior will be documented by the Galatée film crew. The animals just have to do what they do best, live their daily lives. When the production is finished the animals will be moved again to their new definite destination, also in France.

Around castle Loevestein 4 groups will remain. Want to experience their day to day routine, please feel free to visit the area.