Since posting a blog about the release of some European Bison, I have wandered with wonderment through Rewilding Europe’s website, looking through & admiring all of their projects to bring wild animals back into their traditional ranges.
One of the most interesting and exciting that they are involved in is that of the Aurochs. Most folks don’t know exactly what an Aurochs is, but simply put, this huge prehistoric beast is the ancestor of all of the billion or so modern cattle. It’s also where were originally get the word “ox” from. After domestication during the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution, about 12 000 years ago, wild Aurochs were slowly hunted into extinction with the last, a female, falling in the forests of central Poland in 1627.
Through genetics research and selective breeding that began in 2009, they hope to introduce a herds of these new Aurochs, tentatively called a Tauros, to places like the southern Netherlands, Italy’s central mountains, and the Eastern European steppes.