World

Recreated cattle breed closely related to extinct aurochs help save Czech biodiversity

  • A Tauros, a cattle that thanks to a Dutch breeding program is close to the ancient Aurochs, that once were the heaviest European land mammals, walks inside an enclosure at the former military base in Milovice, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. A small herd of Tauros was introduced to a Czech sanctuary Tuesday to join wild horses and help them improve local biodiversity. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    A Tauros, a cattle that thanks to a Dutch breeding program is close to the ancient Aurochs, that once were the heaviest European land mammals, walks inside an enclosure at the former military base in Milovice, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. A small herd of Tauros was introduced to a Czech sanctuary Tuesday to join wild horses and help them improve local biodiversity. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • A small herd of Tauros, cattle that thanks to a Dutch breeding program is close to the ancient Aurochs, that once were the heaviest European land mammals, walk inside an enclosure at the former military base in Milovice, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. A small herd of Tauros was introduced to a Czech sanctuary Tuesday to join wild horses and help them improve local biodiversity. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    A small herd of Tauros, cattle that thanks to a Dutch breeding program is close to the ancient Aurochs, that once were the heaviest European land mammals, walk inside an enclosure at the former military base in Milovice, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. A small herd of Tauros was introduced to a Czech sanctuary Tuesday to join wild horses and help them improve local biodiversity. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Tauros, cattle that thanks to a Dutch breeding program is close to the ancient Aurochs, that once were the heaviest European land mammals, jumps out of a truck to an enclosure at the former military base in Milovice, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. A small herd of Tauros was introduced to a Czech sanctuary Tuesday to join wild horses and help them improve local biodiversity. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    A Tauros, cattle that thanks to a Dutch breeding program is close to the ancient Aurochs, that once were the heaviest European land mammals, jumps out of a truck to an enclosure at the former military base in Milovice, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. A small herd of Tauros was introduced to a Czech sanctuary Tuesday to join wild horses and help them improve local biodiversity. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

Such an animal has not been seen on Czech territory for hundreds of years.

A Dutch breeding program has recreated massive bovines closely related to aurochs, once the heaviest European land mammal and the wild ancestor of today's cattle that became extinct in the 17th century.

A small herd was introduced to a Czech sanctuary Tuesday, joining some wild horses. By eating invasive vegetation, these animals will help to maintain the steppe character of the land.

After a nine-hour drive and few more minutes of hesitation, six calves — five cows and a bull — jumped out of a truck at dawn to take the first look at their new home at the former Milovice military base, 35 kilometers (22 miles) northeast of Prague.