Prezwalski’s horse born at Western Plains Zoo

A rare Prezwalskis wild horse foal can now be seen galloping around the paddocks at Taronga Western Plains     Zoo. This foal has been quite inquisitive and runs around trying to explore everything.

Her keeper, Natacha Richards said, “The foal is doing very well and is continually gaining more strength and confidence. She is still very inquisitive about the exhibit and the herd.”

Keepers have named the foal Mila. This name is Russian for loved by the people. Her mother is Suren who has already had one foal, and her father is Viktor.

Richards said, “Suren is displaying all the right maternal behaviours as she continues to bond with her new foal.”

prezwalski horse

It’s only her curiosity that can pull the foal from mum’s side, “The foal is only leaving Suren’s side long enough to fulfil her curiosity of her environment before she returns to have a feed and a sleep under her mother’s watchful eye,” added Richards.

At one point Prezwalskis wild horses became extinct in the wild. Luckily they are a conservation success story as some from the captive population were bred and returned to their wild home in the Gobi desert. Taronga Western Plains Zoo sent 5 mares to form part of the 50 strong herd that went back into the wild. These animals have so far successfully bred 18 animals spanning 3 generations.

This is one example of the world’s zoos coming together to ensure the survival of the species. Natacha said, “There are now almost 2000 Przewalski’s Horse in human care and in the wild today, which is a huge step for the species that was once extinct.”

This foal is not the only one born at Western Plains Zoo this year though as Natacha explained, “The birth of this foal represents yet another success for the Zoo’s breeding program which also saw another female foal, Tegus, born in February this year.”

Photo credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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