The New York Times, The Washington Post and the media in Canada, Mexico, Switzerland and New Zealand were all captivated by the arrival of the aurochs.

2015 - 10 - 15
The first herd of aurochs in Central and Eastern Europe has been settling in at a reserve of large herbivores

The picture of an aurochs jumping out of a truck into a green pasture flashed around the world. The New York Times and The Washington Post both published articles on the unique project located in the former military area of Milovice near Prague.

The newspapers note that the project was developed through international cooperation and the local herd is the first of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. For example, the website of the Fox News television station in the U.S.A. also provided information about the aurochs. The Milovice aurochs also appeared in the news sections of the world’s major portals such as Yahoo and MSN, and the herd was also covered by the ABC website.

In addition to American newspapers, the Czech project was also picked up by the media in other parts of the world. The Austrian Der Standard, Swiss Blik, German Tierwelt (a nature magazine), and Canadian CTV News all released reports on the return of the aurochs, to list just a few. The news also attracted attention in Spanish-speaking countries, for example, Mexican El Universal and Spanish Hoy Los Angeles reported on the Milovice aurochs herd. Indian and Nigerian news sites also reported on the project. For the southern hemisphere, The New Zealand Herald also highlighted the return of the aurochs. And many more news outlets from abroad are preparing reports from Milovice these days; Germany’s ARD will arrive on Friday to meet the aurochs.

“When the report on the release of wild horses in Milovice flashed around the world, it was a huge success for us. The fact that we managed to repeat something like this with our next project is almost unbelievable. I would like to thank all those who supported our project when it was only on paper and it was far from certain that it would be positively accepted in the world media,” said Dalibor Dostal, director of the conservation organization European Wildlife, which has been implementing the project in collaboration with scientists from several universities and academic institutions.

“We believe that we will inspire other new organizations to improve the world around themselves with good ideas. A few years ago, we started from scratch, moreover at the beginning of an economic crisis. The fact that we have managed to implement the projects and that they are now enjoying such success is the result of a great effort and, in particular, that we did not give up even in situations that seemed totally hopeless. There was always someone who helped us when times were difficult,” adds Dostal.

The aurochs arrived in Milovice on Tuesday, October 13th. One breeding male and five females were imported from the Netherlands, where a breed-back project has been in operation since 2008 to restore this species that went extinct due to humans in the 17th century. Their return is intended to help save threatened steppes and natural grasslands. In Milovice, the aurochs are to join a herd of wild horses that has been roaming at the site since January. Grazing activity involving both of species should create a natural mosaic pattern as a habitat to support a number of endangered species of butterflies and flowering plants.

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