Soestdijk Palace, April 1998
The national symbol of Mongolia is the Przewalski horse, a wild horse which thanks to the efforts of Inge Bouman and her late husband Jan was bred in the Netherlands and returned to their country of origin.
Some twenty years ago the idea was born to breed Przewalski horses by selecting from zoo specimens those animals which according to their bloodlines would serve this purpose best. Many of the animals in zoos, where they had existed since the last Mongolian wild horses were brought there at the beginning of the century, were in the course of the years inbred. Not all, descendants were therefore usable.
With great care and devotion Jan and Inge Bouman and a team of ardent supporters succeeded in breeding a good stock which since the early ninetees were brought to the original country of their "forefathers".
Their work received international recognition: the Mongolian Government bestowed the Bouman family with the country's most prestigious award. In Holland they received the Silver Carnation Award and both were bestowed with the Order of Oranje Nassau. The story of what the Bouman family achieved is an excellent example of what individuals can do for nature and that indeed individual people can make a difference!
I do hope that the viewers who read these pages will give the Wild Horse project in Mongolia their wholehearted support by providing the means to support this exemplary project in the coming years. Having followed their commitment over many years I personally feel that the work of the Bouman family is one of the best success stories in the field of nature conservation.
Prince of The Netherlands