Fisherhaven Herds


How did part of the Rooisand herd end up in Fisherhaven?

Historically the Rooisand herd happily grazed from shore to shore, occasionally coming into the village but then heading back out to their natural grazing. Sadly these horses were stranded on the eastern shores of the estuary after the artificial breaching of the estuary in 2012. The second breach in 2013 and a third natural breach in 2014, compounded the problem as the period that the horses could not cross over to the Rooisand side was extended. The rich grazing, relative safety and even artificial water points provided on private land (with OSM permission), the herd seem well adjusted to life in a village environment.

As of November 2018, there are 11 horses in the Fisherhaven, Hawston and Meerenbosch area. There have been 3 deaths and 6 births with 2 horses who wander between the two shores of the Bot River Estuary. The horses are thriving, having split into two groups which on occasion come together with much excitement.

What are the threats to the feral horses?

Our main concern is that the horses are becoming more and more habituated to humans – mainly because humans provide treats and approach and pet them. They are also at risk from people trying to ride them, children throwing stones at them, and speeding vehicles both in the village and on the R43. Unfenced properties invite their trespassing. In our view, the horses should not be approached and they should not be fed. They should be treated like game in a wildlife reserve. The only intervention should be of a veterinary nature in extreme cases or where euthanasia is required to put a horse out of its misery. The horses are remarkably hardy and generally brush off injury and illness.