A new Przewalski's foal was born at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in England, helping to preserve a species that was once extinct in the wild. The male foal was born on October 26 and is the first to be born at Port Lympne in almost a decade.
Due to hunting and competition with livestock for water and pasture, Przewalski’s horses became extinct from Mongolia, their last refuge in the wild, in the 1970s. Through a cooperative captive-breeding program, the species has been bred in captivity and protected. After successful reintroductions to the wild, Przewalski’s Horses were listed by the ICUN as Critically Endangered, before being revised in 2011 to Endangered. The birth of a new foal at Port Lympne is therefore another vital step in continuing to protect this rare species.
Photo credits: Dave Rolfe / Port Lympne Wild Animal Park
Bob Savill, head of hoofstock at the park, comments, “It is great to have a new Przewalski’s foal as we have previously repatriated Przewalski’s Horses via China and Mongolia, which we’re hoping to start up again soon. He is doing remarkably well considering the weather!”
Przewalski’s Horses are adapted for survival in marginal habitats, particularly dry grassland, and they can survive on fibrous vegetation that has a low nutritional value. They are also extremely hardy, as they are adapted to withstand winter temperatures that are as low as 40 degrees below freezing. As Przewalski’s Horses have never been tamed for riding, they are the last truly wild horse in existence today.
Visitors can catch a glimpse of the new foal at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park as they ride on the 'African Experience' safari trucks.