Taronga Western Plains Zoo recently announced the arrival of a female Przewalski’s Horse foal!
The filly was born February 22, 2017. She has been named Nuruu after the national park in Mongolia called ‘Khustain Nuruu’, which is one of the few parks where the Przewalski’s Horse can be found in the wild today.
Nuruu is the fourth foal born to experienced mother Suren and sire is Stan. “Both mother and foal are doing well. Nuruu is growing stronger every day and is nursing from her mother regularly across the day,” said Keeper Anthony Dorian.
“Suren is being a fantastic mother. She is very protective and nurturing of her foal and is ensuring none of the other herd members get too close.”
“Both Suren and Nuruu are developing a great bond and Nuruu generally stays by her mother’s side most of the day. She does however enjoy a gallop around the paddock in the mornings,” said Anthony.
Nuruu is the first foal to be born for the year at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with more expected towards the end of the year. Taronga Western Plains Zoo has a successful history with its breeding program for Przewalski’s Horse. Since the breeding program commenced in 1982 the Zoo has welcomed over 35 foals.
In 1995, Taronga Western Plains Zoo was part of a re-introduction program that saw five Przewalski’s Horses sent from Dubbo to Mongolia to support a collaboration of Zoos releasing animals into the Gobi Desert to boost the declining wild population.
The Przewalski’s Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) is classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN, and as recently as 1996 was classified as extinct in the wild.
On average, Przewalski females are able to give birth at the age of three and have a gestation period of about 11 to 12 months. Their reproduction process is seasonal, and in Mongolia the season is towards the end of May, June, or July.