Teetering On The Brink....

September 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 

At first glance, these may look like Norwegian Fjord Horses, but they are not. These are Mongolia's precious Przewalski's (pronounced Zhe-VAL-ski) Horses, and they are an endangered species. Only about 1500 exist today.

While American Mustangs and Ozzie Brumbies horses are descended from escaped domesticated animals who have adapted to life in the wild, Przewalski's Horses have never been domesticated, nor were their ancestors descended from the domesticated horse. Przewalski's Horse represents its very own species, Equua ferus, and it remains the only truly wild horse left in the world.

First discovered in the 1400's by a Mongol Khan prisoner of war, in 1966, the last specimen was seen in the wild. However, in 1945, when their numbers had dropped to less than 300, 13 specimens were captured and became part of a comprehensive, collaborative breeding program. Thanks to these conservation efforts, there are now 1,500 specimens in the wild, and, as of 2008, the Przewalski's Horse has actually been officially elevated on the IUCN Red List from "Extinct in the Wild" to "Endangered".


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