Przewalski's horse foals
Tuesday 3 August 1999
BORN AND BRED IN BEDS... EXTINCT IN THE WILD
The first faltering steps of three Przewalski's wild horse foals were met with great excitement at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park last week.
The new-born youngsters, precious to their mothers, have no idea how valuable they are to a species that became extinct in the wild in 1968. Przewalski's are the original wild horse that roamed Mongolia and were tamed by the likes of Gengis Khan. The species was thought to be totally extinct until a small herd was discovered in the 1920s. To stop the species dying out, 13 horses were brought into the safety of captivity and the world's population, numbering just over 2,000, are descended from these founder individuals. To date, Whipsnade Wild Animal Park has bred 105 foals.
Whipsnade is part of the European Endangered Species Programme for Przewalski's wild horse. As part of this breeding programme, the father of the foals travelled all the way from Germany to introduce new blood to the Whipsnade herd. There are plans underway to reintroduce wild horses to their native habitat, perhaps Whipsnade's newest arrivals - or their own offspring - will roam the Mongolian plains in the future.
For more information and photo opportunities, please contact Jane or Miranda on 01582 872171.
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