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Askania Nova Sights | Zoo, Arboretum and Wild Steppes
Individual and group tours to Askania Nova

Askania Nova Sights - Zoo, Arboretum and Wild Steppes
At the end of the last century Friedrich Faltz-Fein has acquired in the steppes north of the Crimea large plot of land to preserve this pristine reserve of native flora and fauna.

Later in this unique nature reserve and is now known under the name of Askania Nova were acclimatized many exotic animals.

Reserve Askania Nova consists of several parts - the arboretum, zoo and wild steppe land - the only part of the virgin feather-grass and fescue stepps not only in Ukraine but around the world.

In each part of the reserve laid interesting excursion routes.

Askania Nova arboretum was built on an artificially irrigated land. Water for irrigation of the park was extracted from a depth of 70 meters. On the whole territory of the park laid out canals that deliver water to the remotest part of the park. For the accumulation of large amounts of water was built a water tower. Now the entire surface of the water tower is covered with wild ivy so that the tower has become a lively and wonderful monument of nature. In a remote part of the arboretum created by the artificial lake which is very common to see white swans. Romantic natures have the opportunity to take refuge in the cool caves.

Askania Nova Zoo is divided into three parts: the aviaries with birds, the lake with wild birds and aviary with wild animals. Everyone here will find a wonderful impression. In the aviary for the birds visitor finds himself in a cheerful and joyful noise of the bird family, then the path goes to the ponds which are covered by impressively colorful waterfowl and complete tour - meeting with zebras, ostriches, emus, yaks, bisons, Przewalski horses, deer and other exotic animals.

For lovers of safari in the Askania-Nova there is a unique opportunity to travel to the wild steppes in the car or on a cart drawn by horses. Not through the gun sight but with his own eyes or through binoculars optics - to see herds of wild animals in their natural habitat.

An amazing time in the Askania-Nova in the spring in April and May when the whole steppe bloom and fragrance of its flowers spreads for miles.

Interesting and sad story relates the Askania Nova and the last tarpan - wild ancestor of modern horses.

The family Faltz-Fein was a neighbor also a large landowner - Durilin. In Rakhmanovsky steppe had grazed large herds of horses. For several years in the area have not seen tarpans. But once as suggested by Friedrich Faltz-Fein a wild horse galloped out of nowhere and looking keenly at the sides toward the horse herd. She shows no longing horse society but she was afraid to approach the "domesticated" brethren. Little by little day by day she used to domesticated horses. When the herdsmen were far away tarpan grazing with other horses. But as soon approaching it is wildly snort and galloped off to the side waiting until people go away.

It is said that he had never seen that resting she fell to the ground as domestic horses - all the time standing. Standing even while sleeping.

Three years passed before the wild horse was a bit more meek and gullible people. She did not run away as far as before when the horse herders approached her. And the additional forage and winter watering at all allowed to approach them closely.

Three years later a wild tarpan decided to go with the herd during the winter paddock where the horses were fed. Then Durilin ordered to catch her. Domestic horses kicked out of the stable, and it locked up there. Tarpan was like a mad rush to the walls, rushed wildly to the stables and knocked his one eye. Then he huddled in a dark corner and froze as if in a trance. A few days did not eat anything. However hunger and thirst drove her out of the corner. Gradually she became accustomed to people. She took the hay out of the hands of the stableman. Went to drink water when it is conducted. But every time trying to escape. And there was no way to ride it.

When the tarpan-mare foaled in the spring and already the third time in the stables it decided to release into the open pasture with the herd. Thought was quite tame. But she apparently valued freedom more than well-fed stomach. Once opened the gate and took off the halter with a loud neighing mare dashed away into the steppe. Later come back but not for long: she called her foal, and galloped away with him. Most have not seen her.

Now the action moved to the Askania-Nova. They had heard that only thirty-five miles from the Askania in Agaymanskom Pod in the steppes near Tauris Agayman village see the wild tarpan. The peasants wanted to test the agility of their horses. Assembled a large team and decided to catch tarpan. It was winter in December.

Pursued, changing horses and horsemen all day and possibly would not get caught up tarpan but to no luck: the front foot fell into a hole and broke his leg. He fell and lay helpless on the snow, snorting and grinning. People are surrounded, tied him up and put on a sled and taken to Agayman. And then found out: it is those very same eyeless mare who prefer the freedom of satiety stables!

Exhausted persecution and the pain the animal soon died. So at the end of December 1879 killed the last wild tarpan.

You could visit Askania Nova Sights - Zoo, Arboretum and Wild Steppes with Ukraine Tour South Ring

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
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