Garranos running wild in Serra da Cabreira, Vieira do Minho, which is where the Sintra six were captured

Wild horses let loose in Sintra ‘natural park’

A little group of wild ‘Garrano’ horses has been let loose in Sintra natural park – the idea being that their grazing will minimise fire risks, while they procreate and help their endangered breed come back from the brink.

Garranos are an ancient breed with many similarities to the Dartmoor pony.

They hail from the north of Portugal, which is where the Sintra six were captured before being brought south for this ‘experiment’ in nature conservation.

The animals now have a fenced 50 hectare home to roam in, and hopes are that their presence will attract more visitors to the stunning landscape overlooking the bay of Cascais.

There are five young male foals and one adult female, all of them fitted with special collars, with GPS trackers. Now it’s just down to nature to see what happens.

Wikipedia explains these horses have become endangered largely because wolves prey on them. There are no wolves in the Sintra natural park, thus this little pack should have a promising future.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com