Saved From Extinction, Wild Horses Are Back Home In Russia

“Six Przewalski’s horses that were born and raised at a preserve in the South of France were flown to Russia and released.”

From: Nancy Bailey

Six Przewalski’s horses that were born and raised at a preserve in the South of France were flown to Russia and released. This kicks off a program to reintroduce the horses to a region where they haven’t been seen in over a century.

The Przewalski’s horse is named after Russian explorer N. M. Przewalski, who first described them scientifically in the late 19th century. The horse once roamed freely along the Mongolia-China border, but they were completely wiped out through hunting and loss of water sources to domestic farming and development. According to Scientific American, by 1945, their numbers were whittled down to a mere 13 individuals, worldwide.

The six wild horses that were released on the Russian steppes are wintering there on a preserve of over 40,000 acres. The chunky, tawny-colored equines are supported with oats and hay twice a week. Radio Free Europe Radio Library said in an article that the early stages of reintroduction into Russia have been very successful. This was according Tatjana Zharkikh, head of the reintroduction center in the strictly protected Orenburg nature reserves along the border with Kazakhstan.

“…This winter is unusual for the Orenburg region — a lot of snow. We’re sure that the coming winters will be much warmer and much better for horses, but now we know that we and our horses are [prepared for] such conditions.”

The Orenburg herd, consisting of a stallion, four mares and an 18-month-old colt, were donated by the Association for the Przewalski’s Horse (TAKH) in southern France, where they roamed 1400 acres of enclosed natural grassland.
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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
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