On April 1, 2018, the British wildlife non-profit People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) reintroduced a number of locally-extinct unicorns (Equus monoceros) into a nature reserve on the Isle of Wight. It’s the latest in a growing number of rewilding initiatives that are restoring endangered species all across the UK, and Europe in general.
Once a common sight in early Britain, unicorns lived in all corners of the land and were a much-loved species due to both their beauty and mystical qualities.
In the early 16th century, however, unicorns were hunted to near-extinction as it was believed their horns held magical powers – indeed Henry VIII hunted them on his Hampton Court Estate, as he thought they would help him father the male heir he so desired.
Now, PTES is bringing unicorns back to Britain by reintroducing 20 breeding pairs into Briddlesford Wood on the Isle of Wight – a magical woodland which is already home to endangered red squirrels and hazel dormice.
Featured photo by Rob Boudon shows one of 40 unicorns reintroduced to the Isle of Wight by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.