WINDHOEK, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Namibia's wild horses which are teetering on the brink of extinction, are now being targeted by hyenas, according to Namibia Wild Horse Foundation.
The foundation said in a statement Monday that the hyenas already resumed targeting the adult horses and the population is already depleted, with only 33 mares remaining.
Namibia's wild horses earlier got a lifeline with the birth of foals this year but according to the foundation hyenas which had moved to adjacent farmland returned, killing three of the four foals born since September.
Mannfred Goldbeck, chairman of Wild Horses Foundation, said the organization is waiting anxiously for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) to respond to their request for custodianship of the horses.
"We need to implement measures urgently to safeguard their future. The situation is now an emergency. We urge the ministry to commit to a plan of action so that we can save the remaining population," he said.
According to Goldbeck, the ministry has been reluctant to manage the hyenas, as it has a non-interference policy regarding the wildlife in the national parks.
"MET is also unwilling to grant the Wild Horses Foundation custodianship of the horses, which would enable the foundation to find suitable land elsewhere and relocate the horses to ensure their survival," he added.
The wild horses of the Namib are among the top 10 tourist attractions in Namibia as they embody the wild and free spirit of the country and have been the subject of numerous documentary films and are used to promote Namibia as a popular tourist destination.