Portmore Paddy which was born at Portmore
Lough on St Patrick's Day.
THE RSPB is celebrating the birth of a konik in Ballinderry
- the first ever foal from the Polish breed to be born in
Ireland. 'Portmore Paddy', as he has been aptly named, because
he was born on March 17th — St Patrick's Day, came from a herd
of koniks that arrived at Portmore Lough reserve two months ago.
RSPB's Portmore Warden John Scovell said:
"We are very pleased that the recently
arrived koniks have settled into their new homes at Portmore.
"We were even more excited when we realised
that one of the Polish ponies was an expectant mum and on March
17 she gave birth to a healthy foal, which we have named 'Portmore
The mother has been very protective of Paddy
over the past few days and both are doing well.
This is a fantastic coup for the RSPB Reserve
at Portmore Lough, it is our understanding that this is the
first konik born in the wild, anywhere in Ireland".
John continued: "The koniks arrived in late
January to assist with an important conservation project on the
reserve. The ponies have been grazing the area to help prevent
re-growth of scrub.
"Too much scrub is unsuitable for
ground-nesting birds and may stop birds like lapwing from
"They have played an .important role over the
winter months in helping to boost Portmore's reputation as a
The koniks originated in Eastern Europe and are the closest
living relative of the last breed of western European wild
horse, the tarpan, which is now extinct.
The Konik ponies