Przewalski’s Horse

ANIMAL:
Przewalski’s Horse               Equus przewalskii

Type of Animal:
Equine

Habitat:
Steppe, plains, shrubland, sub-desert

Location(s):
Mongolia, W. China, parts of S. Russia & Kazakhstan. Reintroduced in Hungary, S. France, S. Ukraine, & Uzbekistan. Found as far west as Iberian Peninsula during the last Ice Age. Found in parts of C. & E. Europe until the early 20th century.

Appearance:
Bright yellow-red-brown or pale gray-yellow color type, head/neck darker than body, light muzzle, stallion larger than mare, compact build, thick, short neck & short limbs, dark short mane, black areas on lower legs

Food/Diet:
Grasses, leaves, bark, grain, hay

Status in Wild:
Endangered

Conservation:
Breeding from zoos, wildlife parks, & breeding centers. Reintroduction programs into Mongolia & W. China. Semi-wild populations introduced to Hungary’s Hortobagy National Park, Cevennes National Park in S. France, & Bukhara Reserve in Uzbekistan. Largest captive population at Askania-Nova Nature Reserve in S. Ukraine. Semi-wild populations in S. Ukraine.

Lifestyle:
Herds consist of stallion w/ harem of up to 10 mares & foals. Other stallions live in bachelor herds of 6-10 animals. Sometimes, many herds aggregate together.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Stallion
Female-Mare
Young-Foal
Group-Herd

Weight:
Male-660 lbs
Female-550 lbs
Young-295 lbs

Gestation:
11.5 months

Life Span:
20-25 years

Height:
Male-4.65 ft
Female-4.5 ft

Body Length:
7 ft

Tail Length:
3 ft

Main predators are wolves.

Only surviving species of wild equine.

Fillies (female foals) & colts (male foals) disperse from birth herds at 1.5-2 years old. Colts join bachelor herds & fillies often taken by stallions.

Increasing in wild & downlisted to endangered from critically endangered-however, threats still loom: loss of genetic diversity, habitat loss, interbreeding w/ domestic horses, competition w/ domestic animals, & hunting.

Stallions sometimes fight to the death over harems of mares.

They’ve never been domesticated & aren’t the ancestor to domestic horses.

Also known as Mongolian Wild Horse or Takhi (Mongolian for “spirit”).

They have 66 chromosomes, 2 more than domestic horses.

Was extinct in the wild from the 1960’s until early 1990’s, when captive horses were slowly reintroduced into wild.

Unlike domestic horses, they shed hair on tail & mane all at once.

Breeding occurs in late spring/early summer.

Fun Fact(s):
In TV series The Wild Thornberrys, Eliza Thornberry unsuccessfully tries to tame/ride one of these in Season 3 episode “Horse Sense.”

Named after Russian geographer/explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky.

Attempts to domesticate these animals have failed due to unpredictable temperament.

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