Tarpan

TarpanTarpan — The Tarpan, Equus ferus ferus, was the Eurasian wild horse. The last specimen of this species died in captivity in Ukraine in 1918 or 1919.

Polish farmers often crossed the tarpan with their domestic horses. The result was a small horse breed, the Konik. Such animals, as the Konik, and also the Sorraia Horse preserved in Portugal, are now being used to breed back the Tarpan, and to fill in the niche that was left vacant by their extinction in the wild. The Hucul pony living in the Carpathian mountains is arguably the most direct descendant of the Tarpan.

There have been attempts to recreate the Tarpan by breeding individuals who closely resemble the phenotype of the original animal. Two examples are the Konik horses of Poland and the Heck horse of Germany. While genetically not the same animal as the original Tarpan, their phenotype, that is, their outward appearance and manner, is similar.

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