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Tokara Pony

The Tokara pony (トカラ馬 Tokara-uma?) is Japanese indigenous pony raised in the Tokara Islands which are a chain of Island in Kagoshima. The body height is about 100-120 cm and smallest class in customary horses. Their hair color is almost dark brown. They have a high tolerance for heat and have been used for agriculture, conveyance and sugar cane squeezing. In 1953, they were designated as a natural monument of Kagoshima.

In 1952, the pony were found on Takarajima by Shigeyuki Hayashida, a professor of Kagoshima University, and named Tokara Pony. They were also said the pony which were brought to Takarajima from Kikaijima in about 1900. When Professor Hayashida checked first, 43 ponies were kept. However the numbers gradually decreased over the 1960s because of agricultural mechanization, and it was difficult to keep a number on Takarajima. This is why some of them were transferred to the Mt. Kaimon Natural Park and Iriki Farm part of the agricultural department of Kagoshima University.

In 1974, ‘Tokara pony that is left in Tokara Islands was only one. But, this pony was transferred to Nakanoshima also in the Tokara, and there are people bred this horse with Tokara pony introduced from the main land again. As a result, about ten Tokara ponies are kept on Nakanoshima now. A horse-breeding farm is a stock farm in Takao that is located in the center of an island. The total adding ponies in Nakanojima and mainland is increasing, and there are now 107 Tokara ponies. And the raising and display of Tokara-Penn’s three females are conducted at Hirakawa Zoo in Kagoshima. However, Tokara pony is not in demand as a plow horse in Tokara Islands and mainland. And the objectives about utilizing for sightseeing are not definitely fixed. The practical use of Tokara pony is a problem for their protection in the future.


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