A peaceful coexistence between wild horses and Australian wildlife
Mass shootings of wild horses (brumbies, as they are called in Australia) from the air! Men in helicopters gunning down entire herds of fleeing horses. The din of rotors. Shots ringing out. Animals panicking. Many collapsing, struck by bullets. Death does not always come immediately.
This barbaric practice was not only tolerated by the Australian government in the 1980s but organised by it. The excuse? Horses weren’t indigenous.
The driving force behind these massacres was the cattle industry, which had zeroed in on the horses’ grazing lands – never mind that cattle and sheep in Australia are about as indigenous as the horses.
The Franz Weber Territory (also called Bonrook) is located a 2.5-hour drive south of Darwin in the Australian state of Northern Territory (NT).
Fondation Franz Weber acquired the former cattle ranch in November 1989 and converted it into a wild horse sanctuary.
The Franz Weber Territory covers 500 km2 (18 km by 28 km).
Bonrook, outside the small town of Pine Creek, is a paradise for Australian wild horses (brumbies) and retired riding horses.
Around 800 brumbies live on Bonrook – protected and safe.
Fondation Franz Weber's goal is to prevent any further shootings of brumbies in Australia.
Around 150 bird species and ...
... numerous native animal species live in harmony with the brumbies on the Franz Weber Territory.
Each mob consists usually of about 7-8 horses and is managed by an alpha stallion.
A young stallion on Bonrook.
Also water buffaloes live on the Franz Weber Territory.
Bonrook (like all lands in the Northern Territory) is inspected every three years by a government agency. The condition and quality of the meadows, grasses and soil are evaluated.
Sam Forwood has been the Station Manager of Bonrook since 1996 and looks after the horses and the land.
The spectacular nest of a Great Bowerbird, built with much love and skill.
Thank you very much for helping us make our visions come true!
In 1987 and 1988, Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) brought the brumby bloodbath to public attention in Europe. The international outcry put an end to the culls.
Following this crisis, in November 1989, FFW purchased Bonrook Station, a vast former cattle ranch in the Northern Territory, Australia. And so, the Franz Weber Territory was born: a protected natural paradise spanning 500 square kilometres of tropical bushland. This property of Fondation Franz Weber is to date the only sanctuary for Australia’s wild horses. It also serves as a sanctuary for countless rare native species.
We know from our own experience that horses in Australia pose no threat to local flora or fauna. Conserving and maintaining this wonderful example of animal protection, a place absolutely unique in Australia, is one of FFW’s most fascinating tasks.
Continued care and maintenance of the Franz Weber Territory
Protection and free development of brumbies in our sanctuary
Simultaneous protection of Australian flora and fauna