The especially hard winter is threatening the survival of wild horses on the Vlasina mountain, in the southeast of Serbia near the Bulgarian border, Radio Television Serbia (RTS) reported on Tuesday.
Wild horses in Serbia. [File photo]
Approximately 90 horses, in four herds, are reportedly malnourished due to a particular cold winter. A group of hunters from the nearby town of Surdulica has launched a campaign to rescue the horses.
"We have a unique mission to save these beautiful animals that walk along our hunting grounds," said Dragan Kostadinovic, president of the Vrla Hunting Association.
Hunters from throughout the country have come to help the horses which are also threatened with wolf attacks, according to Kostadinovic.
The origin of horses on Vlasina has sparked local debate, however, with some local farmers rejecting the notion of indigenous wild horses. They claim domesticated horses were simply abandoned by their owners, while others speculate many of the horses were put out to pasture to be later slaughtered.
Nonetheless, the hunters insist that they will continue with their efforts to save the herds of horses which likely would not survive until Spring without assistance. Snow typically remains on the ground until May on the mountain.